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If you're of a certain age, you likely went through a dinosaur phase as a kid, perhaps even dreaming of turning up the bones of stegosauruses, tyrannosauruses, and other famed creatures of the Age of Reptiles. In this affectionate memoir of "a life in the field," paleontologist Michael Novacek writes of his early years entertaining such dreams and of his ongoing education in the ways of the "terrible lizards."
Now curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, Novacek has traveled the world on the trail of fossils and ancient bones, collecting thousands on thousands of specimens. Often, we gather from his pages, his expeditions have been fraught with danger, whether in the form of some exotic disease or some incautious driver on a faraway road. No matter: for Novacek, the thrill of the hunt is reason enough to shrug off peril, and he shares charming anecdotes drawn from his decades of fieldwork, as well as his understanding of what such research can teach us about the past and present alike.
Armchair travelers and paleontologists in training, to say nothing of readers going through a dinosaur phase of their own, will take much pleasure in Novacek's journeys into his--and the planet's--past. --Gregory McNamee [via]