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Quest for the African Dinosaurs: Ancient Roots of the Modern World
     

Quest for the African Dinosaurs: Ancient Roots of the Modern World

by Louis Jacobs
 

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Winner of the Colbert Award for the best adult book about dinosaurs

Louis Jacobs reopened paleontologists' eyes to the African continent when he uncovered a major fossil site in the hills of Malawi in the 1980s. During five digging seasons in Malawi and three in Cameroon, Jacobs found the remains of two meat-eating theropods, two herbivorous sauropods, an

Overview

Winner of the Colbert Award for the best adult book about dinosaurs

Louis Jacobs reopened paleontologists' eyes to the African continent when he uncovered a major fossil site in the hills of Malawi in the 1980s. During five digging seasons in Malawi and three in Cameroon, Jacobs found the remains of two meat-eating theropods, two herbivorous sauropods, an odd crocodile about the size of a Chihuahua, and rare early mammals. Now in paperback, Quest for the African Dinosaurs includes Jacobs' new introduction, which discusses recent developments in paleontological research in Africa.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology - Edwin H. Colbert
A literary effort of real consequence, a book that informs and entertains, but at the same time is pleasing to the eye and to the ear... One closes Lou Jacobs' book with the wish that it did not have to come to an end... [because] one has been to Africa with Lou and surveyed the passing scene through his amused, discerning eye.

Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
A literary effort of real consequence, a book that informs and entertains, but at the same time is pleasing to the eye and to the ear... One closes Lou Jacobs' book with the wish that it did not have to come to an end... [because] one has been to Africa with Lou and surveyed the passing scene through his amused, discerning eye.

— Edwin H. Colbert

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Excavating in the highlands above Africa's Lake Malawi, paleontologist Jacobs unearthed the remains of a strange crocodile and three dinosaurs, one of which provided a missing link in the fossil record. He uses the story of his discoveries to depict Africa as it was 100 million years ago, when the continent was breaking away from the rest of the world land mass. Taking readers on-site to observe excavation and field work, he elucidates the process of dinosaur identification and the intricacies of their anatomies. Later, visiting a fossil bed in Cameroon's Koum Basin, he notes that the African fossil record covers a great deal of dinosaur history but is frustratingly spotty and incomplete. His own research with the titanosaurid sauropod Malawi-saurus , which chronicles an unbroken 79-million-year history, fills in some of the blanks. This fine book is an important volume for dinosaur fans. ( Feb. )
Library Journal
Some important side effects of the popularity of dinosaurs have been to teach many nonscientists about science and to attract students to scientific fields. Paleontologist Jacobs (an expert on the tiny mammals that coexisted with the dinosaurs) packs a huge amount of interesting scientific information into this book and supplements it with entertaining travel stories from Malawi and Cameroon, a dose of African history, informative illustrations, and a bit of scientific skepticism. Lest we think dinosaurs are just a fad in the United States, an interesting subtext tells how Jacobs's paleontological expeditions captured the imagination of local people and led a few African students to study paleontology. Jacobs recounts his adventures with exemplary clarity and a quirky sense of humor and, in the end, produces a good dinosaur book for popular collections.-- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.
Booknews
While working for Richard Leakey to uncover early mammal remains, Louis Jacobs instead dug up a major dinosaur fossil site. This autobiographical account of his paleontological discoveries entertains as it educates. Written for the curious layman, he explains modern theories in a down-to-earth style--pardon the pun--and answers puzzling questions in the manner of a father crafting a plausible tale for his child. Very enjoyable reading. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801864810
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.81(d)

What People are Saying About This

Richard E. Leakey

Louis Jacobs has produced a most interesting book, which will certainly give the reader a feel for dinosaur hunting in some exotic and unusual places. Many books have been written on the collecting of dinosaurs in North America, but this book is very different, and I found it refreshing, fun, and informative.

Nicholas Hotton III

Original, delightfully entertaining, accurate, and stimulating... In his warm and witty style, Lou Jacobs has made a significant contribution to the demystification of science.

David Pilbeam

Splendid book. If you like dinosaurs, this is for you. If you enjoy reading engaging stories of life in the field, this is for you. And if you care to reflect a bit on the personal impact of the West on the developing world, and—as important—of the developing world on us, this is certainly for you. It's a most engaging read.

Meet the Author

Louis Jacobs, formerly a visiting scholar at Harvard, teaches at Southern Methodist University and is president of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man.

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