Contents

List of Illustrations 11

Preface 15

Acknowledgments 19

Introduction: The Moment of Discovery 23

1. Patagonia: A Faraway Land Full of Fossils 21

2. What Were We Searching For and How Did We Decide Where to Look? 35

3. The Scene of an Ancient Catastrophe: Auca Mahuevo 41

4. Compiling a List of Possible Victims: A Brief History of Dinosaurs 55

5. Dinosaur Eggs: Evolutionary Time Capsules 79

6. Finding Evidence in the Eggs at Our Forensic Labs: Dinosaur Embryos and Embryonic Skin—the Rarest of All Dinosaur Fossils 89

7. Establishing the Time of Death: Evidence from Clocks in the Rocks 105

8. Establishing the Cause of Death: Uncovering Clues in the Rocks 117

9. Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Is Auca Mahuevo the Real Jurassic Park? 125

10. Our Return to the Scene of the Catastrophe:

The 1999 Expedition 133

11. Was the Nesting Site Used More than Once? Discovering

New Egg Layers 151

12. Were Giant Dinosaurs Gregarious? Our Nests of Eggs and Other Evidence 161

13. An Awesome Predator: Discovering a Skeleton of the Sauropods' Adversary 177

14. The Y2K Expedition 183

Epilogue: A Threatened Window on the Ancient Past 197

Further Reading 205

Index 207

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