Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research17:2 (Fall 2007). Copyright ©2007 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


We tend to rate smarter animals, like crows and naturalists, by their degree of behavioral versatility. If polymathic interest correlates with intellect, John Acorn is a very bright naturalist indeed. He has written field guides to insects and birds of Alberta's prairies, mountains, and badlands. His versatility emerges through media popularization of these topics, in series like The Nature Nut and more recently Deep Alberta, a set of radio vignettes about Alberta's fossilized past. But does Acorn's range skim the surface like a light breeze, or does his insight scour deep to Cretaceous bedrock? Judging by Acorn's Deep Alberta: Fossil Facts and Dinosaur Digs, the answer, happily, is both.