Monday, September 01, 2014


Fossil Hunting

George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984), Attending Marvels: A Patagonian Journal (1934; rpt. New York: Time Incorporated, 1965), p. 82:
Fossil hunting is far the most fascinating of all sports. I speak for myself, although I do not see how any true sportsman could fail to agree with me if he had tried bone digging. It has some danger, enough to give it zest and probably about as much as in the average modern engineered big-game hunt, and the danger is wholly to the hunter. It has uncertainty and excitement and all the thrills of gambling with none of its vicious features. The hunter never knows what his bag may be, perhaps nothing, perhaps a creature never before seen by human eyes. Over the next hill may lie a great discovery! It requires knowledge, skill, and some degree of hardihood. And its results are so much more important, more worth while, and more enduring than those of any other sport! The fossil hunter does not kill; he resurrects. And the result of his sport is to add to the sum of human pleasure and to the treasures of human knowledge.

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