Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I finished 'Time traveler' today by Michael Novacek. Overall I think it had all the elements of an exciting exploration book but it needed more. I think the problem is that the Flaming Cliffs research in Mongolia has already been written about and was only skipped over in the book. Also it is autobiography and he doesn't want to make the events sound dangerous for reasons of personal pride. Let's face it, he was arrested and held captive by the military police in the Yemen, bitten by a scorpion, thrown off his horse in Chile, various different escapades in Mongolia. It is reasonably exciting. It is unfortunate he never got to write about the Antarctic as that would have been good.

The science was very good. A history of the study of ancient mammals is a surprisingly intriguing story. They have been slightly neglected in favour of dinosaurs and yet they hold the key to the major extinction episodes.

It is also slightly disappointing that there is a picture on the front of a Velociraptor (dinosaur) when the book is really about mammals and he ridicules dinosaur hunters as glamour seekers - but I'm beginning to nag now.

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