Time Traveler In Search of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils from Montana to Mongolia

Michael Novacek

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

380 Pages



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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Novacek, a renowned paleontologist who has discovered important fossils on virtually every continent, is an authority on patterns of evolution and on the relationships among extinct and extant organisms. Time Traveler is his captivating account of how his boyhood enthusiasm for dinosaurs became a lifelong commitment to vanguard science. Novacek writes of the alluring perils of fieldwork with affection and discernment, and in doing so illuminates the most exciting issues in paleontology today.


Praise for Time Traveler

"This memoir is a superb introduction to paleontology as it really is and how it is done, from fish to dinosaur, bird, and mammal. Novacek, world leader in the discipline, has brilliantly woven its substance into accounts of his own field adventures across three continents and 400 million years. Read it, and give it to a teenager you'd like to see go into science."—Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor, Harvard University

"An engaging book . . . [Novacek] gives us an excellent sense of the way paleontologists have arrived at their world-shaking conclusions . . . With good humor and generosity [he] offers genuine insights into the kind of reasoning that has allowed us to know so much about past eras, and he conveys a lively picture of his professional experiences."—David Papineau, The New York Times Book Review

"Novacek writes as well as anyone I know of the unsurpassed beauty of the field . . . Time Traveler succeeds by letting the reader see the paleontological world through the eyes of a developing scholar, learning as he does, and finding at the end of the book a most logical and satisfying journey."—Kevin Padian, Journal of Paleontology

"Time Traveler is first-rate. The vibrant field of paleontology has been reinvigorated in recent years by the energy of Mike Novacek and his colleagues, and [this] beautifully written account of their work makes for fascinating reading."—Peter H. Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Time Traveler

Dinosaur Dreamer
As odd as it may seem, Los Angeles is a particularly good place to become a paleontologist. I didn't always appreciate this. Indeed, as a young boy I sometimes resented deeply...

Read the full excerpt


  • Michael Novacek

  • Michael Novacek is Curator of Palentology, as well as Senior Vice President and Provost of Science, at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs and other books, as well as numerous scholarly articles. A contributor to Natural History and Scientific American, he lives in New York City.

  • Michael Novacek Copyright Dennis Finnin