Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xiv

Geological Time Scale

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pp. xv-xvi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

...this one, it would have been Cuvier. As he was forging the new discipline of paleontology, Cuvier was also gathering the world’s fossil legends from classical antiquity...

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Preface

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pp. xxi-xl

...dotted with sagebrush and home to rattlesnakes, are a vast burial ground of Cretaceous dinosaur species that lived here 68–65 million years ago. A hot wind was gathering force. At...

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INTRODUCTION: Marsh Monsters of Big Bone Lick

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pp. 1-31

...canoes are laden with more than fresh venison. Curious soldiers gather to watch the Indians unload a strange cargo—an enormous, fossilized femur nearly as tall as a man, several huge teeth, and great ivory tusks darkened by time...

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CHAPTER 1: The Northeast: Giants, Great Bears, and Grandfather of the Buffalo

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pp. 32-72

...Lick began to attract the interest of European and American scientists. The early investigators sought out the traditions of the Shawnees and Delawares in their efforts to...

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CHAPTER 2: New Spain: Bones of Fear and Birds of Terror

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pp. 73-105

...when Hernando Corte´s and his Spanish army first arrived in central Mexico in 1519, that’s just what they found. As I pursued my research into early European encounters with American fossil lore, I was fascinated to learn that Aztec...

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CHAPTER 3: The Southwest: Fossil Fetishes and Monster Slayers

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pp. 106-167

...foot- long dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous with the largest skull of any land animal. An old Navajo man came up to see what they were doing. Taking one look at the creature, he uttered two words, “Monster Slayer,” and walked...

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CHAPTER 4: The Prairies: Fossil Medicine and Spirit Animals

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pp. 168-219

...town of Quivira. Expecting to enter a fabulous city of gold, the Spanish conquistadors were disgusted to find only earth lodges and wealth measured in buffalo robes. After The Turk confessed that he had deliberately misled Coronado...

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CHAPTER 5: The High Plains: Thunder Birds, Water Monsters, and Buffalo-Calling Stones

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pp. 220-295

...July, my first day at the paleontological field camp on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation. I hurried to pound in the tent stakes. The western horizon was black with a fast-approaching storm—the...

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Conclusion: Common Ground

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pp. 296-331

...history was visualized as a series of ages marked by different landforms, climates, and a succession of different faunas no longer alive today. The Native observers envisioned the extinct creatures’ appearance, behavior, and habitat, as well as the...

APPENDIX: Fossil Frauds and Specious Legends

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pp. 332-346

Notes

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pp. 347-406

Bibliography

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pp. 407-428

Index

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pp. 429-448