Dinosaurs of Darkness opens a doorway to a fascinating former world, between 100 million and 120 million years ago, when Australia was far south of its present location and joined to Antarctica. Dinosaurs lived in this polar region.
How were the polar dinosaurs discovered? What do we now know about them? Thomas H. Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich, who have played crucial roles in their discovery, describe how they and others collected the fossils indispensable to our knowledge of this realm and how painstaking laboratory work and analyses continue to unlock the secrets of the polar dinosaurs. This scientific adventure makes for a fascinating story: it begins with one destination in mind and ends at another, arrived at by a most roundabout route, down byways and back from dead ends. Dinosaurs of Darkness is a personal, absorbing account of the way scientific research is actually conducted and how hard and rewarding it is to mine the knowledge of this remarkable life of the past.
The award-winning first edition has been thoroughly updated with the latest discoveries and interpretations, along with over 100 new photographs and charts, many in colour.
Foreword by Frank C. Whitmore, Jr.
1. Dinosaur Cove
2. The Crossing of the Rubicon
3. Back to Dinosaur Cove
5. Underground at Dinosaur Cove
6. New Explorations
7. Restoring Life of the Past
8. New Explorations
9. Other Eggs, Other Baskets
10. An Unexpected Surprise
11. Getting through the Winter
12. Multiple Working Hypotheses
13. The Other Hemisphere
14. Where Are We Now; Where Are We Going?
Thomas H. Rich is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Museum Victoria in Melbourne and co-author (with Patricia Vickers-Rich) of Wildlife of Gondwana: Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates from the Ancient Supercontinent, also published by Indiana University Press. He is affiliated with Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University.
Patricia Vickers-Rich is Professor of Palaeontology in the School of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Swinburne University of Technology, an Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University and a Research Associate at both Museums Victoria and Deakin University in the Melbourne and Geelong regions of Victoria, Australia. She is also a Research Associate of the Precambrian Laboratory at the Borissak Paleontologic Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. She is also Director of PrimeSCI! the Wantirna campus of the Swinburne University of Technology, also in Melbourne, Australia.
"This is a well-written, popularized account of Vickers-Rich and Rich 's research at Dinosaur Cove, southwest of Melbourne, Australia. The first excavations took place in 1980, but it was not until 1984 that any significant dinosaur remains were found. Originally, most of those engaged in the excavation of fossils were amateurs. A large amount of equipment was utilized to burrow into a cliff where the sediments of an ancient stream channel were preserved. By the second year of exploration, the site at Dinosaur Cove was better organized, and almost 10 tons of fossiliferous rock were excavated. From 1986 to 1991, many of those engaged in excavations were Earthwatch volunteers from the US. Much tunneling had to be undertaken at the various sites under study, and at times high tides would inundate the sites. Eventually, five new genera of Hypsilophodontidae were found. A long description is offered of dating methods for recovered fossils. Excavation sites are isolated so everything necessary for digging has to be transported there, necessitating complex logistical arrangements. Half the chapters describe excavations on the North Slope of Alaska; a site near Kilcunda, Victoria; Cape York Peninsula north of Cairns; and other sites. A general discussion on the evolution of dinosaurs rounds out the book. General readers; undergraduates."
– G. Nicholas, Manhattan College, Choice, February 2001