Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History / Edition 1by Peter Ward
Pub. Date: 03/28/2005
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
The gorgons ruled the world of animals long before there was any age of dinosaurs. They were the T. Rex of their day until an environmental cataclysm 250 million years ago annihilated them-along with 90 percent of all plant and animal species on the planet-in an event so terrible even the extinction of the dinosaurs pales in comparison. For more than a decade,/i>… See more details below
The gorgons ruled the world of animals long before there was any age of dinosaurs. They were the T. Rex of their day until an environmental cataclysm 250 million years ago annihilated them-along with 90 percent of all plant and animal species on the planet-in an event so terrible even the extinction of the dinosaurs pales in comparison. For more than a decade, Peter Ward and his colleagues have been searching in South Africa's Karoo Desert for clues to this world: What were these animals like? How did they live and, more important, how did they die?
In Gorgon, Ward examines the strange fate of this little known prehistoric animal and its contemporaries, the ancestors of the turtle, the crocodile, the lizard, and eventually dinosaurs. He offers provocative theories on these mass extinctions and confronts the startling implications they hold for us. Are we vulnerable to a similar catastrophe? Are we nearing the end of human domination in the earth's cycle of destruction and rebirth? Gorgon is also a thrilling travelogue of Ward's long, remarkable journey of discovery and a real-life adventure deep into Earth's history.
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Table of Contents
|Ch. 2||Bones in the Karoo||16|
|Ch. 3||Gradual or Sudden?||46|
|Ch. 4||Land and Sea||54|
|Ch. 5||Karoo Magnetics||63|
|Ch. 6||A Change of Rivers||95|
|Ch. 7||The Stone House at Tussen die Riviere||124|
|Ch. 9||The Rate of Killing||166|
|Ch. 10||Drawing Conclusions||187|
|Ch. 12||A New Kind of Extinction||212|
|Epilogue: Legacy and Lessons of a Catastrophe: Are We Living on a Safe Planet?||229|
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I know I did! So I picked up this book. It's a great read; I'd highly recommend it. Ward's presentation of the info is not only interesting and informative, but accessible. In other words, you don't have to be a paleontology nerd (although I admit I am one) to understand and enjoy this book. Being one of the experts on the Permian Mass Extinction, Ward obviously knows his stuff, but has an easy-going writing style and, at times, is even quite humorous. Along the way he also shares insights and stories about his time in Africa. So if you're interested in science, or are simply curious to know what exactly DID go wrong for life on earth 250 million years ago, then get this book!