Perhaps you are a paleontologist or have always wondered what it is like to be one. Or you are fascinated by fossils and like to read about the origins and natural history of dinosaurs. Or maybe you are an avid traveler and reader of travelogues. If you are any of these things, then this book is for you. Originally published in 1994 in French, Dinosaur Impressions is the engaging account of thirty years of travel and paleontological exploration by Philippe Taquet, one of the world's most noted paleontologists. Dr. Taquet takes the reader on a surprisingly far-flung tour ranging from the Provence countryside to the Niger desert, from the Brazilian bush to the Mongolian Steppes, and from the Laos jungle to the Moroccan mountains in search of dinosaur bones and what they have to tell us about a vanished world. With wry humor and lively anecdotes, Dr. Taquet retraces the history of paleontological research, along the way discussing the latest theories of dinosaur existence and extinction. Elegantly translated by Kevin Padian, Dinosaur Impressions provides a unique, thoughtful perspective not often encountered in American- and English-language works. This insightful, first-hand account of an exceptional career is also a travelogue par excellence that will enthrall enthusiasts and general readers alike. Philippe Taquet is the Director of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and is a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Kevin Padian is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Curator of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the editor of The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs (Cambridge, 1986) and The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (1997).
'Lively, vivid, bracingly enthusiastic - these tales of paleontological field days and discoveries from Taquet, director of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, give a sharp taste of what spurred him to say yes to the question: 'Do you take paleontology as your spouse and promise to serve her faithfully for the rest of your days?' ... Taquet is a good storyteller, his lessons as easy to consume as shucked oysters, and the thrill he finds in his work is catching'. Kirkus Reviews 'Philippe Taquet has traveled to the ends of the earth in search of fossils. His recollection of these adventures is a brilliant blend of science and personal passion.' Michael J. Novacek, Provost of Science, American Museum of Natural History, and author of Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs ' ... a very human insight into the life and work of a paleontologist: it charts the pain and joy of expedition work and travel in a wonderfully accessible way ... [A] marvellously rich tapestry of endeavour, life and a history of life - and a damned fine read!' David Norman, Director, Sedgwick Museum, and author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs 'I loved it! An extraordinary book that leads its reader on a glorious and passionate adventure of discover through time. A global dinosaur hunt, eloquently written, and faithfully translated, it's about the most fun I've ever had reading science. It's a great pleasure to read science so eloquently delivered.' Jack Horner, Curator, Museum of the Rockies, and co-author of Digging Dinosaurs and Dinosaurs Lives ' ... full of delightful anecdotes, and a warm humanity shines through on every part of this memoir.' Hans-Dieter Sues, Senior Curator, Royal Ontario Museum, and author of In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs ' ... an enjoyable and illuminating book which can be thoroughly recommended.' Journal of Natural History '... worth reading, even if you are not a dinosaur fan'. Wendy Hamilton, Open University Geological Society Journal '... good practical insight into the work and strivings of palaeontologists.' David Norman, The Times Higher Education Supplement