Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's Historyby Peter Ward
Pub. Date: 03/28/2005
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
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 themalong with 90 percent of all plant and animal species on the planetin 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.
Author Biography: Peter Ward, a recognized authority on mass extinctions, is professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. His books include Future Evolution, The End of Evolution, and, with Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth and The Life and Death of Planet Earth.
- Penguin Group (USA)
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.04(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.57(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 - 17 Years
Table of Contents
|Chapter 2||Bones in the Karoo||16|
|Chapter 3||Gradual or Sudden?||46|
|Chapter 4||Land and Sea||54|
|Chapter 5||Karoo Magnetics||63|
|Chapter 6||A Change of Rivers||95|
|Chapter 7||The Stone House at Tussen die Riviere||124|
|Chapter 9||The Rate of Killing||166|
|Chapter 10||Drawing Conclusions||187|
|Chapter 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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!