Get Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest PDF

By Peter Ward

ISBN-10: 0670030945

ISBN-13: 9780670030941

The gorgons governed the area of animals lengthy sooner than there has been any age of dinosaurs. They have been the T. Rex in their day until eventually an environmental cataclysm 250 million years in the past annihilated them—along with ninety percentage of all plant and animal species at the planet—in an occasion so poor even the extinction of the dinosaurs pales compared. For greater than a decade, Peter Ward and his colleagues were looking in South Africa’s Karoo barren region for clues to this international: What have been those animals like? How did they dwell and, extra very important, how did they die?

In Gorgon, Ward examines the unusual destiny of this little recognized prehistoric animal and its contemporaries, the ancestors of the turtle, the crocodile, the lizard, and finally dinosaurs. He bargains provocative theories on those mass extinctions and confronts the startling implications they carry for us. Are we liable to an analogous disaster? Are we nearing the tip of human domination within the earth’s cycle of destruction and rebirth? Gorgon can be an exciting travelogue of Ward’s lengthy, impressive trip of discovery and a real-life event deep into Earth’s background.

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Extra info for Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History

Sample text

Kitching has known great fame. In the 1960s he made what might be the most important fossil find of the twentieth century. On a cold, rock-strewn slope in Antarctica, he discovered a specimen of the mammal-like reptile named Lystrosaurus. This same creature is perhaps the most frequently found vertebrate fossil of the Karoo. But this particular fossil, the first common animal of Bones in the Karoo * 27 the Triassic Period, had never been recovered in Antarctica, and its presence there constituted a powerful geological proof that, 250 million years ago, Antarctica and Africa lay joined with the other southern continents into the single supercontinent named Gondwanaland.

A strong man. Used to leadership. And used to Arriving • II living behind walls like all Brits, the heritage of privacy and stoicism. On the appointed date, we set out, and my first surprise— shock, really—was how far away from Cape Town we had to travel to get to the Karoo. It took eight hours of fast driving to arrive at the area Roger suggested we visit, and this area was only partway into the vast expanse of dry land and semiarid desert known as the Karoo. The drive was a journey through fantastically changing landscapes.

The museum was nineteenth-century ornate, a beautiful edifice and gift to the country. Sadly it was also nineteenth century in the ways of its exhibits. Long display cases filled with things old and older, great halls cluttered with aboriginal artifacts, and dioramas exhibiting Bushmen in their so-called native habitat in a fashion similar to those exhibiting the local animals in their native habitat. " Finally passing out of this sad tribute to racism, I entered the wings of paleontology, and here my pulse quickened.

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Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter Ward

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