OVERRIDE

Time Traveler

In Search of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils from Montana to Mongolia

Michael Novacek

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Hunting for fossils with a preeminent guide and teacher

Michael Novacek, a world-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. He takes us with him as he discovers fossils in his own backyard in Los Angeles, then goes looking for them in the high Andes, the black volcanic mountains of Yemen, and the incredibly rich fossil badlands of the Gobi desert.

Wherever Novacek goes he searches for still undiscovered evidence of what life was like on Earth millions of years ago. Along the way he has almost drowned, been stung by deadly scorpions, been held at gunpoint by a renegade army, and nearly choked in raging dust storms. Fieldwork is very demanding in a host of unusual, dramatic, sometimes hilarious ways, and Novacek writes of its alluring perils with affection and discernment. But Time Traveler also makes sense of many complex themes - about dinosaur evolution, continental drift, mass extinctions, new methods for understanding ancient environments, and the evolutionary secrets of DNA in fossil organisms. It is also an enthralling adventure story.

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Time Traveler
1Dinosaur DreamerAs 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 an urban incubation that kept me from steady contact with nature. On rare days there were opportunities. When a hair-dryer wind from the desert blew the smog offshore, I would lope up to a hilltop street appropriately named Grandview. From that high place I could see the whole sweep of the basin, from the slate surface of the Pacific to the sinuous line of the San Gabriel Mountains. Without
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REVIEWS

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

"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 his beautifully written account of their work makes for fascinating reading."
—Peter H. Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Michael Novacek

  • Michael Novacek is Curator of Paleontology, as well as Senior Vice President and Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History. His last book, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs (1996), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
  • Michael Novacek Copyright Dennis Finnin
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Available Formats and Book Details

Time Traveler

In Search of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils from Montana to Mongolia

Michael Novacek

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