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Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs: The Thrilling Account of One of the Largest Dinosaur Expeditions of the 20th Century by the Expedition Leader Paperback – 18 Aug 1997
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From the Inside Flap
Over the past six years Michael Novacek, the Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History, has led a team of international scientists to the Gobi Desert on the greatest dinosaur expedition of the late 20th century.
Closed to the West since the 1920's, the remote sands of Mongolia's Gobi Desert constitute the richest fossil site in the world. In "Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Novacek invites the reader along with his team as he recounts the day-to-day drama of field exploration and discusses the remarkable discoveries that he and his colleagues unearthed, fossil finds that have helped to reshape our understanding of the dinosaur and early mammal era.
Interweaving the adventure of field research with chapters that bring the reader up to date on contemporary dinosaur theory and science, "Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs brings the excitement of scientific discovery to life.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
.....Dr. Michael J. Novacek, the expedition leader and Sr. Vice President and Provost of Science for the Museum, gives us a riveting first-person account of these explorations, alternating with detailed chapters on the paleontological discoveries which they made. Moving from collections of bones to an appraisal of how the animals (reptiles and mammals) lived and died, he gives us a new understanding, based on discoveries still being analyzed, of the implications to existing life on the planet, including homo sapiens. Including in his analysis all of biology as well as geology, Novacek giges us pause to consider what will survive on earth after a similar passage of time. All this without leaving out the human element: 1990s Mitsubishis are just as prone to getting stuck in the mud or sand as were 1920s Dodges!
.....The expeditions start at the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, where the Andrews/Granger expeditions made their most important finds, and go on to desert locations, mountains and canyons such as the Nemegt Valley, with names like Tugrugeen Shireh, Kheerman Tsav, and Ukhaa Tolgod. This last location they called Xanadu, after Kubla Khan's famous "pleasure dome," because it was such a treasure trove of new discoveries. And they were not only dinosaurs, but often tiny mammals, our true ancestors.
.....Dr. Novacek presents us with the greatest assemblage of new paleontology discoveries currently available to the average reader, beautifully and amply illustrated by Ed Heck of the Museum staff.
.....No one interested in paleontology and dinosaurs can afford not to read this book. Nor can anyone interested in the course of life on planet earth. Dr. Novacek and his colleagues' work is still going on.
.....This book is highly recommended for everyone from high school to old age. Public libraries should have it in their science collections. And don't neglect "Time Traveler," a later book also by Dr. Novacek.
.....We can only hope that explorers like this will keep on going (to use Roy Chapman Andrews' phrase) to "the ends of the earth," and come back to tell us about it!
This was only twenty years ago, and recent discoveries have turned this whole third scenario on it's head.
The American Museum's expeditions to Mongolia have changed everything we know about Oviraptor. This one is a must for all dinosaur fans, taking us through what the expedition has learned about Mongolian dinosaurs since the seventies and describing the harrowing conditions that the expedition had to face.