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Another Old Book



While unpacking and finally putting a few books into actual bookcases, I
came across another oldie.  Not sure if it's a goodie though.  Don't
remember buying it, but the evidence points to picking it up in '69 or
'70 at a London bookstore.

Title is "Extinct Monsters" By Rev. H. N.  Hutchinson.  Date is 1897. 
Subtitle is "A popular account of some of the larger forms of ancient
animal life."

Does anybody on the list know anything about the author?  Or the book?

The material is hard for me to read - very dated.  The line drawings of
skeletons are excellent compared to some recent books.  But the plates
dipicting the animals in life are laughable compared to the beautiful
paintings ans sketches today.

His chapter on Pterodons also refers to them as "Dragons Of The Air", as
did the Seeley book.  He has quotes from Cuvier and Marsh as two of his
main references.  The good old days, huh?

And just found a plate in the Flying Dragons chapter illustrating "Group
of Sea-Serpents, Elasmosaur, and Fishes".  I'm not as fascinated with
the changing concepts as the science historians like Gould are.  But it
still fascinates me that the "science" of paleontology is only two
lifetimes long.

What will we know 20 years from now?  That's what I find exciting.  New
tools for analysis, new sites yielding better material, more knowledge
of today's world, and the tremendous effort of gene research  promise
great insight into dinosaurs.  With all that is happeining today, where
will paleontology be in 2017?  What sort of knowledge will we have about
dinosaur likfe?  What new tools or research looks good today for
breakthroughs tomorrow?

And will we ever get to some of the finds?  As a boy, I was given some
chewed up dinosaur bones by a geologist working with my father's rig. 
They were from core samples several thousand feet down (we were in Big
Piney, Wyoming then).  Is technology ever going to get us to places like
this?

Sorry about all the ramblings.  It's been that kind of summer.

Billy