The Dragon Seekers: How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossilists Discovered the Dinosaurs and Paved the Way for Darwin

By Christopher McGowan
Read by Stuart Langton

8.19 Hours 03/01/2004 unabridged
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In the midst of the Industrial Revolution, an extraordinary group of scientists struggled to make sense of a mysterious, prehistoric world—a world that they had to piece together from the fossilized, fragmentary remains of animals no one had ever seen. These nineteenth-century pioneers were an eccentric lot that included a working-class woman, an Oxford professor with a theatrical bent, a crisis-ridden country doctor who was never quite accepted among London’s scientific elite, and an expert anatomist who once dissected a rhino in his living room. These were the Dragon Seekers, the people who brought the myths to life and whose work, within a populace raised on a literal interpretation of Genesis, laid the groundwork for the revolutionary ideas of Darwin.

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Summary

Summary

In the midst of the Industrial Revolution, an extraordinary group of scientists struggled to make sense of a mysterious, prehistoric world—a world that they had to piece together from the fossilized, fragmentary remains of animals no one had ever seen.

These nineteenth-century pioneers were an eccentric lot that included a working-class woman, an Oxford professor with a theatrical bent, a crisis-ridden country doctor who was never quite accepted among London’s scientific elite, and an expert anatomist who once dissected a rhino in his living room.

These were the Dragon Seekers, the people who brought the myths to life and whose work, within a populace raised on a literal interpretation of Genesis, laid the groundwork for the revolutionary ideas of Darwin.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Everyone knows about dinosaurs, but few appreciate the intertwining of their discovery and the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. McGowan’s wonderful book offers up the historical struggle of the scientists who turned dinosaurs into living creatures and who championed evolution to explain their place in antiquity. What a great read!” David B. Weishampel, Johns Hopkins University
“Few casts of characters in the history of science are as varied and colorful as the disparate group of Victorian fossilists who found and described the first dinosaurs. In this lively and cogent book, McGowan brings their own words and times back to life, and shows how their discoveries and ideas forged the basis for understanding the great sweep of evolutionary history.” Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley
“Seldom have I been so captivated by a historical treatment. I couldn’t put The Dragon Seekers down. It’s all there—history, humor, philosophy, science, and the romance of discovery—in a well-written package that shows science doesn’t have to be dry and boring.” Philip Currie, Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology
“An informative and exciting account of Anning and those fossilists who discovered the dinosaurs.” Los Angeles Times
“Most readers will find this an easy and rewarding read—certainly a book worthsaving up for a long journey.” New Scientist
“The Dragon Seekers excels at transporting us into the nascent world of evolutionary science.” National Post
“Stuart Langton’s reading is admirably straightforward. He speaks clearly, seems comfortable with reptilian nomenclature, and tells the story in a full-speed-ahead manner.” AudioFile
 “Langton’s clear, precise, British-accented narration makes the occasionally technical information easy to absorb. He readily conveys McGowan’s passionate regard for his subject and his obvious frustration with the limitations placed on the discoveries because of biblical interpretations.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Christopher McGowan

Christopher McGowan is retired as the curator in the dinosaur department of Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. An esteemed paleontologist and former professor of zoology at the University of Toronto, veteran of dinosaur digs around the world, and the author of several other books for young audiences, Chris lives in Toronto. He is the author of ten books, including The Raptor and The Lamb and Dinosaurs, Spitfires, and Sea Dragons.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 8.19
Audience: Adult
Language: English