Digging for Bird-Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar

by Nic Bishop Part of the Scientists in the Field Series

Dinosaurs have fascinated Cathy Forster since she was a three-year-old girl in West... read more

Dinosaurs have fascinated Cathy Forster since she was a three-year-old girl in West Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her lifelong passion led to a doctorate in paleontology and her current position on the faculty of the State University of New York, where she studies the Archaeopteryx , an ancient creature with characteristics of both birds and dinosaurs. Because paleontologists disagree about whether birds are directly descended from dinosaurs, Dr. Forster seeks further evidence in the fossil record. Nic Bishop’s photo-essay follows her on an expedition to Madagascar, where she and her team gather fossil clues to send back to her lab at the university. A single claw from a primitive bird provides the sort of evidence she wants and advances the hypothesis that birds and dinosaurs were indeed related. Color photographs of the scientists at work accompany a clear narrative that both explains the specifics of Dr. Forster’s research and describes how scientists work as part of a team that includes research assistants, guides, cooks, artists, and laborers. As an interesting side note, Bishop also includes the local children in his account when the research team becomes involved in village efforts to build a school. (Age 7 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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