Cover image for Digging for bird-dinosaurs : an expedition to Madagascar
Digging for bird-dinosaurs : an expedition to Madagascar
Bishop, Nic, 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
The story of Cathy Forster's experiences as a member of a team of paleontologists who went on an expedition to the island of Madagascar in 1998 to search for fossil birds.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1000 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.9 1.0 41509.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 7.3 4 Quiz: 24835 Guided reading level: Z.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QE862.D5 B525 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QE862.D5 B525 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The extinction of dinosaurs some sixty-five million years ago is one of the greatest biological catastrophes in the history of our planet. Yet in recent years, paleontologists have turned up increasing evidence that ancestors of one group of dinosaurs still fly among us: birds. Join Cathy Forster, one of the few female paleontologists working today, on an expedition to Madagascar in search of clues to the mystery of bird evolution.

Author Notes

Nic Bishop, who holds a doctorate in the biological sciences, is the photographer of many acclaimed books for children. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.Visit his website Nic Bishop and author Sy Montgomery won the Sibert Medal in 2011 for their collaborative work on Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot , another Scientist in the Field title."

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Bishop's stunning photographs illustrate Sy Montgomery's The Snake Scientist, a 1999 Booklist Editors' Choice selection. In this offering in the Scientists in the Field series, Bishop contributes both words and pictures as he describes the work of paleontologist Cathy Forster, who studies the possible link between birds and dinosaurs. He begins with Forster's background and childhood and an introduction to the study of bird evolution. Subsequent chapters move to Madagascar, where Forster participates in annual digs, and then back to New York, where she analyzes the expedition's fossils. Throughout the engaging, personal story, Bishop presents a great deal of information in highly readable, age-appropriate language, well matched by exceptional full-color images of scientists at work and the Malagasy landscape and people. Dinosaur fans and budding young scientists will be entranced by this beautiful, informative account. Fossil diagrams and further readings are appended. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This attractive photo-essay focuses on Cathy Forster, a specialist in bird fossils, and on a 1998 expedition to the island of Madagascar. Working a fossil "quarry" of animals apparently drowned and deposited during a long-ago deluge, the paleontologists discover an engrossing mlange of pieces of Late Cretaceous creatures, mostly new to science. Fragments of prehistoric snakes, crocodilians, fish, and turtles mix with sauropods, theropods, and birdlike remains. The conversational text follows the team efforts, recorded as well in the crisp full-color photos, showing the scientists at work in their brutally hot, waterless site. It also records the cooperative efforts of hospitable villagers, and includes an appeal to help them build a local school for their children. The book concludes with a surprising find in a chunk of sandstone shipped to the U.S. from a 1995 expedition-the partial skeleton of a bird equipped with a small sickle claw, similar to those previously found only on theropods like Velociraptor. Team this fine title with Miriam Schlein's excellent The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Birds (Dial, 1996) and Lowell Dingus and Mark Norell's fascinating Searching for Velociraptor (HarperCollins, 1996) and A Nest of Dinosaurs (Doubleday, 1999) and you'll have young dinophiles packing up to join an expedition.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.