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The First Fossil Hunters

Author : Adrienne Mayor
ISBN : 9781400838448
Genre : History
File Size : 82. 12 MB
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Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants--these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans. As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground. Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.

Fossil Legends Of The First Americans

Author : Adrienne Mayor
ISBN : 9781400849314
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21. 76 MB
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The burnt-red badlands of Montana's Hell Creek are a vast graveyard of the Cretaceous dinosaurs that lived 68 million years ago. Those hills were, much later, also home to the Sioux, the Crows, and the Blackfeet, the first people to encounter the dinosaur fossils exposed by the elements. What did Native Americans make of these stone skeletons, and how did they explain the teeth and claws of gargantuan animals no one had seen alive? Did they speculate about their deaths? Did they collect fossils? Beginning in the East, with its Ice Age monsters, and ending in the West, where dinosaurs lived and died, this richly illustrated and elegantly written book examines the discoveries of enormous bones and uses of fossils for medicine, hunting magic, and spells. Well before Columbus, Native Americans observed the mysterious petrified remains of extinct creatures and sought to understand their transformation to stone. In perceptive creation stories, they visualized the remains of extinct mammoths, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and marine creatures as Monster Bears, Giant Lizards, Thunder Birds, and Water Monsters. Their insights, some so sophisticated that they anticipate modern scientific theories, were passed down in oral histories over many centuries. Drawing on historical sources, archaeology, traditional accounts, and extensive personal interviews, Adrienne Mayor takes us from Aztec and Inca fossil tales to the traditions of the Iroquois, Navajos, Apaches, Cheyennes, and Pawnees. Fossil Legends of the First Americans represents a major step forward in our understanding of how humans made sense of fossils before evolutionary theory developed.

The Fossil Hunter

Author : Shelley Emling
ISBN : 023010097X
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81. 66 MB
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At a time when women were excluded from science, a young girl made a discovery that marked the birth of paleontology and continues to feed the debate about evolution to this day. Mary Anning was only twelve years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton--of an ichthyosaur--while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary's incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, "She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore." She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary's peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, laid out in his On the Origin of Species. Darwin drew on Mary's fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present. A story worthy of Dickens, The Fossil Hunter chronicles the life of this young girl, with dirt under her fingernails and not a shilling to buy dinner, who became a world-renowned paleontologist. Dickens himself said of Mary: "The carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to win it." Here at last, Shelley Emling returns Mary Anning, of whom Stephen J. Gould remarked, is "probably the most important unsung (or inadequately sung) collecting force in the history of paleontology," to her deserved place in history.

The Story Of Life In 25 Fossils

Author : Donald R. Prothero
ISBN : 9780231539425
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 7 MB
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Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite, Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "fishibian" Tiktaalik; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half-Shell"; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; the gigantic hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We meet the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and learn about the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we find out where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, this book makes a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution of life on Earth.

The Sternberg Fossil Hunters

Author : Katherine Rogers
ISBN : 0878424040
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 80. 15 MB
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Science meets the great outdoors in this personal perspective of the Sternbergs, Charles and his three sons--George, Charlie and Levi--who formed the world's first family-run fossil-hunting business. From the late 1800s through the mid-1900s, the Sternber

Fossil Hunters

Author : Richard Spilsbury
ISBN : 9781474746649
Genre :
File Size : 38. 60 MB
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Amazing creatures have roamed our planet for millions of years. Many species from long ago have since become extinct. However, thanks to the adventurous work of some amazing fossil hunters we can study the fossils of these ancient species. Learn all about archeaologists and their incredible discoveries from the past, from tiny insects to giant sharks.

Fossil Hunter

Author : Thomas W. Goodhue
ISBN : STANFORD:36105114547636
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 28. 38 MB
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Description: This is the first modern biography of Mary Anning of Lyme Regis (England) the first woman and one of the very first professional paleontologists. Goodhue's research fills in the personal and professional accomplishments of this eminent Victorian.

Digging Up The Past Fossil Hunters

Author :
ISBN : 0790319233
Genre :
File Size : 56. 76 MB
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Fossil Feud

Author : Thom Holmes
ISBN : UOM:49015002674134
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 59. 80 MB
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Relates the life stories of two nineteenth-century American dinosaur paleontologists and gives details of the bitter feud that existed between them.

Travels With The Fossil Hunters

Author : P. J. Whybrow
ISBN : 9780521663014
Genre : Science
File Size : 52. 73 MB
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Essays by British paleontologists capture the adventure and excitement of field work in Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Gibralter, Yemen, China, India, and Antarctica.

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