Walking on Eggs by Luis Chiappe
The Astonishing Discovery of Thousands of Dinosaur Eggs in the Badlands of Patagonia

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Synopsis

"Walking on Eggs" is the riveting inside story behind one of the most significant paleontological discoveries in history. In November 1997, Luis M. Chiappe and Lowell Dingus led an elite team of paleontologists and geologists into the rugged and desolate badlands of Argentina. Unsure of what they would find, Chiappe and Dingus knew that this region had produced many spectacular specimens of dinosaurs and fossil birds over the last century. Nothing could have prepared them, however, for the headline-grabbing discovery they were about to make: a massive dinosaur nesting ground covering more than a square mile and littered with tens of thousands of large, unhatched dinosaur eggs. Containing the first fossils of embryonic dinosaur skin ever found, the eggs gave rise to a host of mysteries. What species laid the eggs, and when? How were they preserved? And most intriguingly, what ancient catastrophe -- deeply rooted more than 70 million years in the past -- prevented them from hatching?

In clear, comprehensible language, Chiappe and Dingus frame their scientific investigations within the context of a gripping detective story, illustrating how they used paleontological and geological evidence to establish the identity and age of the eggs, as well as how they established the cause of death. Chiappe and Dingus also recount a return trip to the badlands in 1999 in which they set out to learn more about dinosaur social and reproductive behavior. Their investigations once again unearthed a key piece of the historic puzzle: the bones of a twenty-foot predatory, carnivorous dinosaur.

As they decipher the evidence -- divining origins, discovering identities, and pinpointing possiblecauses of extinction -- Chiappe and Dingus interweave their field adventures with chapters illuminating the crucial precedents behind their groundbreaking work. Complementing the text are beautiful hand-drawn reproductions of what the dinosaurs and their landscape might have looked like, created by an artist who joined the expedition team in Patagonia. Infused with passion and an infectious sense of awe, "Walking on Eggs" illustrates the ups and downs of the scientific process and invites dinosaur lovers of all ages to experience the exhilarating sense of discovery.

 

About Luis Chiappe

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Luis M. Chiappe, a 1996 Guggenheim Fellow, is associate curator and chairman of the department of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Dr. Chiappe has conducted extensive field work in the Americas as well as in Asia. His many articles have appeared in Nature, Science, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Natural History. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
 
Published June 19, 2001 by Scribner. 224 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Along the way, the two examine the environmental prehistory of the area, consider the possible causes for the eggs’ sudden demise, and scoff at press reports that they’ve uncovered sufficient quantities of dinosaur DNA to clone the creatures whose trail they were following.

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Publishers Weekly

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Agent, Edite Kroll and Samuel Fleishman, Literary Artists Representatives.(June)Forecast:Media generated by a touring exhibit of dinosaur eggs will help draw attention to this book.

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