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Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History

by Peter D. Ward
New York: Penguin, 2005. 288 pages.

In Gorgon — its title a nod toward the gorgonopsids, cousins of the cynodonts from which mammals are descended, and casualties of the end-Permian extinction — Peter D. Ward combines paleontology with travelogue and memoir, examining his own "obsessive" interest in exploring the history of life as he recounts his fieldwork in the back country of South Africa. Pat Shipman described Gorgon as "a compelling and thoroughly readable account of science and scientists as they travel through space, time, ideas, and cultures ... A terrific book." A prolific author whose latest book is Under a Green Sky, Ward is professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.