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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

Le Secret de l'Archéobélodon: Deux Siècles d'Enquête sur une Fossile Mythique [The Secret of the Archaeobedon: Two Centuries of Investigation on a Mythic Fossil]

By: Alexandre Mille(Author), Jean-Guy Michard(Author), Pascal Tassy(Author)
223 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Editions Belin
Le Secret de l'Archéobélodon: Deux Siècles d'Enquête sur une Fossile Mythique [The Secret of the Archaeobedon: Two Centuries of Investigation on a Mythic Fossil]
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  • Le Secret de l'Archéobélodon: Deux Siècles d'Enquête sur une Fossile Mythique [The Secret of the Archaeobedon: Two Centuries of Investigation on a Mythic Fossil] ISBN: 9782701192987 Paperback Apr 2015 Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book

Language: French

Paris, 1804. In National Museum of Natural History, Paris, one man is happy: in his hands, he has a molar, a big molar. This man is Georges Cuvier, a monumental researcher in natural history in France, and one of the first who was able to speak of fossils. The molar is that of a mastodon, a distant and spectacular relative of the elephant that lived some fifteen million years ago in what is now the Gers, a department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in the southwest of France, where the tooth was found. It would take a hundred years of investigation before the reconstruction of the animal to whom the tooth belonged was completed, just in time for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris. And at a time when few people had seen a large dinosaur skeleton, the reconstructed mastoon was a star. Another one hundred years would be needed to determine who this mastodon really is. To do this, characters of the first and second period competed with each other, using tricks, tenacity, ambition, and aggression too, while gradually giving the museum the face that it now has. It is this fascinating investigation covering nearly two centuries that this richly illustrated book portrays.

Summary in French:
Paris, 1804. Au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, un homme est content : entre ses mains, il a une molaire, une grosse molaire. Cet homme, c'est Georges Cuvier, monument de l'histoire naturelle en France, l'un des premiers qui a su faire parler les fossiles. La molaire, c'est celle d'un mastodonte… parent lointain et spectaculaire de l'éléphant qui vécut il y a quinze millions d'années, dans ce qui est aujourd'hui le Gers, où la dent a été trouvée. Il faudra cent ans d'enquête pour que la reconstitution de l'animal à qui appartenait la dent soit menée à bien et réponde, juste à temps, au rendez-vous de l'exposition universelle de 1900 à Paris. Et à cette époque où rares étaient ceux qui avaient vu un grand squelette de dinosaure, le mastodonte reconstitué est une star… Cent ans seront encore nécessaires pour déterminer qui est vraiment ce mastodonte. Pour ce faire, personnages de premier et de second plans vont rivaliser d'astuces, de ténacité, d'ambition, d'agressivité aussi, tout en donnant peu à peu au Muséum le visage qui est aujourd'hui le sien. C'est cette enquête passionnante de près de deux siècles que cet ouvrage richement illustré vous propose de découvrir…

Customer Reviews

By: Alexandre Mille(Author), Jean-Guy Michard(Author), Pascal Tassy(Author)
223 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Editions Belin
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