Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek
  • Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek
  • Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek

Dinomummy: The Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek

by Philip Manning
     
 

In 2000, teenage dino-hunter Tyler Lyson stumbled across the fossil remains of a hadrosaur in the remote hills of the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota. More than a collection of fossilized bones, Tyler discovered a three dimensional mummified dinosaur--a dinomummy. He and a paleontologist from the University of Manchester in England, Dr. Phil Manning, led an

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Overview

In 2000, teenage dino-hunter Tyler Lyson stumbled across the fossil remains of a hadrosaur in the remote hills of the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota. More than a collection of fossilized bones, Tyler discovered a three dimensional mummified dinosaur--a dinomummy. He and a paleontologist from the University of Manchester in England, Dr. Phil Manning, led an excavation that would change the way we think about dinosaurs. Named for its place of discovery, "Dakota" was gradually uncovered and moved to a lab for further excavation and analysis. Tyler and Phil's enthusiasm, expertise, and years of work blend as this paleontological detective story unfolds.

Stunning computer-generated artwork, based on fieldwork and laboratory studies of the hadrosaur specimen, brings Dakota and its environment back to life on the pages of this amazing book. Travel back in time to explore Hell Creek 65 million years ago, when herds of hadrosaurs migrated across vast floodplains.

Dakota died during the Late Cretaceous Period on the floodplains of North America and its body was locked in a rocky tomb. But Dakota's story was far from over. From the rugged badlands of Hell Creek to high-tech scientific labs, photographs document the incredible story of two men and a very special dinosaur.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When teenage dino-enthusiast Tyler Lyson found a few dinosaur vertebrae on his uncle's South Dakota ranch in 2000, he didn't yet know that the bones belonged to one of the best-preserved dinosaurs ever located-dubbed a "dinomummy" because some of the hadrosaur's scaly skin had been fossilized as well. Lyson contacted Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester, to help recover and study the hadrosaur, which came to be nicknamed Dakota. The first half of the book, which features realistic, computer-generated depictions of colorful, active dinosaurs, conjectures what Dakota's life might have been like 65 million years ago, and sets up the mystery of his death ("Strangely, there are no signs of injury to this body. If he was killed by the Tyrannosaurus rex, why wasn't he torn to pieces? Why wasn't he eaten?"). The rest of the book focuses on the discovery and excavation, as well as what scientists learned, including their explanation for why Dakota's body remained so well preserved. Although dino enthusiasts on the younger end of the target audience may need parental help with some terms and information, they should be captivated by both the dramatic account of prehistoric life and the up-close look at a modern dig (not to mention the attention-getting die-cut cover, through which a luminous dino-eye peers). Both Manning and Lyson found their first dinosaur bones when they were children, backing up Lyson's claim that "anyone can hunt for and find dinosaurs"-a message that will go over big with readers. Ages 6-up. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 15.

Dinosaurs once roamed the plains of what is now North Dakota where Tyler Lyson grew up. Fascinated by dinosaurs from a young age, Tyler made an incredible find that would change his life and that of the scientific community. When he was sixteen years old, Tyler discovered the mummified body of a dinosaur, complete with fossilized skin tissue. His lucky discovery offered a rare opportunity for scientists to view and study actual dinosaur flesh, not just skeletons. This book brings together their two stories-a real dinosaur named Dakota and the boy who found him sixty-five million years later. The first half is Dakota's tale. Computer-generated pictures of dinosaurs are superimposed on landscape photographs. These images convincingly convey both the tranquility and danger of daily dinosaur life. When Dakota dies abruptly, the reader is left to ponder the mystery. The second half of the book tells how Tyler finds Dakota and then seeks the help of paleontologist Dr. Phillip Manning. The color photographs and simple text offer a detailed account of carefully unearthing the fossil and transporting it safely to the laboratory, where many tests were performed. Dinosaurs buffs and young scientists will love this book. It is a thrilling story that is part narrative, part mystery, and part science lesson. The answer to why Dakota's body was so well preserved gently unfolds. The up-close pictures of Tyler, Dakota, and working scientists provide an appealing inside look at the science of archaeology. Reviewer: Kim Zach
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780753460474
Publisher:
Kingfisher
Publication date:
12/04/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
10.88(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

Foreword

I have been passionate about dinosaurs ever since my oldest brother, Ryan, and I found the fossilized jaw of a duck-billed hadrosaur when I was six years old.The fossil, which I still have in a shoebox in my bedroom, made me want to learn everything about hadrosaurs and all of the other dinosaurs. The fossil also made me realize that anyone can hunt for and find dinosaurs. At the ageof six, I was too young to look for fossils by myself, but I was very determined. I managed to persuade my very patient and loving motherto drive me out to the remote Hell Creek badlands, which surround my hometown of Marmarth, North Dakota. She would sit in a lawn chair with one eye on her book and one eye on me as I dug around in the dirt, lookingfor more dinosaur bones.

As a teenager, my persistence and passion grew.With a fellow budding fossil expert, I set up the Marmarth Research Foundation, an organization devoted to the excavation, preservation, and study of dinosaur fossils.The headquarters were in a garage, but that didn't hold us back—soon bones from Triceratops, Pachycephalosaurus, and even T. rex were pouring in. But none of those finds came close to my discovery, aged 16, on a late summer evening while fossil hunting on my uncle's ranch. I found Dakota, a mummifiedduck-billed dinosaur—a "dinomummy" so rare and so special that it could change the way that we think about dinosaurs.

Dinomummy is Dakota's story. It's an adventure through time as well as science. Enjoy the ride!

Tyler Lyson, PhD student of paleontology at Yale University, founder of the Marmarth Research Foundation, and discoverer of Dakota

It is the age of thedinosaurs, a time when the largest creatures that ever lived walked on Earth. One of these strange reptiles, a hadrosaur, emerges from the ferns and lush plants that line the river. Sixty-five million years from now, he will be recognized as one of the most important dinosaurs ever found, and he will be named Dakota. But today, stepping into the morning sun, unaware of his future, the animal thinks only of surviving another day in Hell Creek.

A large and heavy dinosaur, Dakota moves cautiously on thick,muscular legs to reach the river's edge.The toes of his padded feet spread wide to stop him from sinking into the wet sand, and his tail sways gently to balance his long body. He is not yet an adult, but already he is almost 26 feet long, nearly the length of a bus. Dakota drops onto slender forearms, ready to drink.

Suddenly, across the water, two male Pachycephalosaurus clash in a violent display of strength. Dakota watches as they charge at each other like battering rams, delivering powerful blows with their thick, domed skulls.Today, their aggressive head butts are designed to impress females of theirtype. On other days, they might be used in defense against predators.

Another plant eater is quietly watching the contest.The three-horned Triceratops is better prepared for defending herself against the giant carnivores of Hell Creek. A heavy and powerful creature, around twice the size of a rhinoceros, she can cause severe damage with her two longest horns while remaining protected by her solid neck frill. Dakota has no such armor or weapons.

Dakota returns to the protection of his herd, which is grazing nearby.These gentle plant eaters rely on safety in numbers.Young and vulnerable, Dakota buries himself in the center of the group.

It is the fall, and the hadrosaurs have just arrived in Hell Creek. Every year, they migrate from the north to escape its cool, dry winters. Hell Creek is warm and wet all year round, and the herd has come to feed onits lush plant life.

A lone Ankylosaurus, slow and heavy under the weight of her armored plates, joins the hadrosaurs.The movements of the dinosaurs do not go unnoticed. From the cover of nearby vegetation, a pack of Saurornitholestesquietly emerges.These vicious raptors are stalking the herd, waiting for the right moment to attack.

The Saurornitholestes have chosen their victim. But this time, it is not Dakota or another hadrosaur—it is the young Ankylosaurus.The predators, intelligent and fast, circle the dinosaur and snap at her with razor-sharp teeth.

As Dakota turns to flee, he sees one of the raptors leap onto the animal's back and climb up it using its curved claws as hooks. But the desperate attacker will struggle to pierce the armored plating of his prey.Then Ankylosaurus, with a heavy blow from his large tail club, knocks asideanother Saurornitholestes like a bowling pin.The battle will be long and hard. Dakota does not stay around to watch.

As Dakota turns to flee, he sees one of the raptors leap onto the animal's back and climb up it using its curved claws as hooks. But the desperate attacker will struggle to pierce the armored plating of his prey.Then Ankylosaurus, with a heavy blow from his large tail club, knocks asideanother Saurornitholestes like a bowling pin.The battle will be long and hard. Dakota does not stay around to watch.

Tyrannosaurus rex! The herd begins to snort and shriek in terror. As the hadrosaurs struggle to turn and flee, they kick clouds of dust into the hot air.The giant predator surveys the scene slowly, looking for an easy victim. She spots a young adult on the far left of the herd. It's Dakota. Mouth bulging with teeth like steak knives, the tyrannosaur begins to stride through the water . . .

It is the end of the day. As the sun sets over Hell Creek, Dakota lies stilland silent. He has not survived. Strangely, there are no signs ofinjury to his body. If he was killed by the Tyrannosaurus rex, why wasn't he torn to pieces? Why wasn't he eaten?

Millions and millions of years will pass before these questions find answers. Dakota's body will lie buried in Hell Creek while Earth's continents collide toform towering mountains, ice ages come and go, and humans take their very first footsteps.

But for now, for the dinosaurs of Hell Creek,a new destruction is just around the corner . . .

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