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Dragon Seekers
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Dragon Seekers

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Though inarguably revolutionary, Charles Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection had many intellectual forebears, some of them little known. One was Mary Anning, a young Dorset woman who, in the early 19th century, turned to "fossiling" to earn a living, supplying private collectors and museums with the curiosities she found in the chalk cliffs--and who knew f...more
Published (first published 2001)
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I picked up this book with the intent to gain a more historically accurate look at the life of Mary Anning (having just read a fictionalized account of her life in Remarkable Creatures). Although at times academic and somewhat technical, it was engaging, flowed well, and was highly readable. I found my interest increased as the terminology and leading theories of the day became more familiar. The book not only covers the foremost geologists, biologists, and emergent paleontologists of the day, i...more
Josh Gulch
While the title is perhaps a mite bit misleading in regard to the role that dinosaurs played to these early fossilists, this ought not to detract from the narrative. Indeed, the true stars of this tale are the often overlooked icthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and the intrepid individuals who realized the relevance of the assorted remains they were plucking out of mountains and beaches. While the dinosaurs that they discovered opened the floodgates for the thousands of known species that followed, it is...more
a book about the origins of paleontology as a discipline! super-interesting! i mean, imagining to be among the first people to dig a collection of bones out of a cliff & realize that you are seeing the remains of an animal that has never been seen before by any living person. & not just that, but it's some kind of enormous lizard!

this book seeks to collect together the stories of the first few notable paleontologists & geologists, including mary anning, who was never allowed to join...more
Michael Anderson
Fascinating book about the British origins of paleontology in the half-century before Darwin, relationships among the major players of the day, how religious beliefs affected the thinking of the early fossil hunters, and how gradual accumulation of anatomical and geological knowledge eroded the influence of the church to permit Darwin's theories to find an easier acceptance than they might otherwise have had. It is worth reading.
Fascinating look at the pre-Darwinian fossil hunters and the ways they tried to make sense of their finds. McGowan talks about their relationships to each other and the ways in which they influenced one another, and it made for a really interesting story. There were a couple bits that didn't seem to quite fit or that I somehow missed the connections for, but for the most part I found it super interesting and well narrated (although at the beginning I found the narrator's voice really perplexing,...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
This was definitely a nice diversion from some of the stuff I've been reading. Interesting in its own way and a nice introduction to some very eccentric pre-Darwinists. These were people that used the sciences of geology and paleontology to bolster the Bible's version of life. That is until more evidence was discovered that made it more and more difficult to believe Genesis. It was a fairly quick read and pretty accessible. I intend to read the Origin of Species by Darwin and then move into the...more
Nick Tredger
Great expose of early archaeology and the strange and driven people that search for bones! I found it fascinating.
This book was a little more dry than I would have liked, but it gave good insight into fossil hunters in England.
Interesting narrative about the "original" geologists in 1800s England. Includes the story behind the discovery and naming of dinosaurs like megalosaurus and iguanodon. Great for those of us who "lived and breathed" dinosaurs with our preschoolers!
As a natural history buff, I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, readable and brought early scientists and fossil finders to life. I look forward to reading more books by Mr McGowan.
David Kessler
Earliest bone collections right out of the SW shores of England and how did these early bone collectors do it.
Great story and very tightly written
Wonderful story of the development of the science of geology and of all the quirky personalities who added to the founding of the science.
After listening in the car during my commute, i'd come home and look up the people and dinos talked about in the book. fun read.
this was amazing. i love natural history and this book was exactly what i wanted to learn.
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