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On the Trail of Ancient Man: a Narrative of the Field Work of the Central Asiatic Expeditions


NORTH-EASTERN Asia has entered the field as one of the competitors with southwestern Asia as the home of man. The discovery of some fossil vertebrates that are common to Europe and western America but are absent from eastern America led Prof. H. F. Osborn in 1900 to predict that these animals had developed in northern Asia and thence migrated eastward into Europe and westward into America. The ocean they crossed was therefore the Pacific and not the Atlantic. Faith in this theory led Dr. R. C. Andrews to organise an expedition to search for the remains of these animals in the steppes which they must have crossed during their migration from inner Asia to the Rocky Mountains. The generosity of American patrons of science provided £50,000 for the purpose, and Dr. Andrews led to Mongolia a series of well-equipped expeditions which there made several sensational discoveries. The most dramatic was the finding of the eggs of Cretaceous dinosaurs. They were found in such abundance in one locality that one Mongolian woman brought in fragments of egg-shells in tinfuls. The eggs belong to three genera, one of which, Protoceratops, is a primitive form of the Ceratopsidoe. Dr. Andrews describes this locality as a dinosaur incubator, and he attributes its selection as the breeding-ground to the nature of the sand, which would have formed comfortable nests.

On the Trail of Ancient Man: a Narrative of the Field Work of the Central Asiatic Expeditions.

By Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews. With an Introduction and a Chapter by Henry Fairfield Osborn. Pp xxiv + 375 + 61 plates. (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1926.) 25s. net.

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GREGORY, J. On the Trail of Ancient Man: a Narrative of the Field Work of the Central Asiatic Expeditions . Nature 119, 521–522 (1927).

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