Digging for Bird Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar (Scientists in the Field Series)

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9780618196821: Digging for Bird Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar (Scientists in the Field Series)
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The extinction of dinosaurs some sixty-five million years ago is one of the greatest biological catastrophes in the history of our planet. Yet in recent years, paleontologists have turned up increasing evidence that ancestors of one group of dinosaurs still fly among us: birds. Join Cathy Forster, one of the few female paleontologists working today, on an expedition to Madagascar in search of clues to the mystery of bird evolution.

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About the Author:

Nic Bishop, who holds a doctorate in the biological sciences, is an award-winning author and photographer known for his outstanding stop-action wildlife photographs. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with his wife and a bevy of animals under study.

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Grade 5-8-This attractive photo-essay focuses on Cathy Forster, a specialist in bird fossils, and on a 1998 expedition to the island of Madagascar. Working a fossil "quarry" of animals apparently drowned and deposited during a long-ago deluge, the paleontologists discover an engrossing m lange of pieces of Late Cretaceous creatures, mostly new to science. Fragments of prehistoric snakes, crocodilians, fish, and turtles mix with sauropods, theropods, and birdlike remains. The conversational text follows the team efforts, recorded as well in the crisp full-color photos, showing the scientists at work in their brutally hot, waterless site. It also records the cooperative efforts of hospitable villagers, and includes an appeal to help them build a local school for their children. The book concludes with a surprising find in a chunk of sandstone shipped to the U.S. from a 1995 expedition-the partial skeleton of a bird equipped with a small sickle claw, similar to those previously found only on theropods like Velociraptor. Team this fine title with Miriam Schlein's excellent The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Birds (Dial, 1996) and Lowell Dingus and Mark Norell's fascinating Searching for Velociraptor (HarperCollins, 1996) and A Nest of Dinosaurs (Doubleday, 1999) and you'll have young dinophiles packing up to join an expedition.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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