Jurassic Park
Hardcover
Published in 1990 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
399 pages.

Paperback
Published in 1991 by Ballantine Books
400 pages.

Reports that a lizard-like reptile is attacking infants and infirm people in coastal towns on the island of Costa Rica are attributed by the natives to the "hubia, " or "raptor," are ignored by the authorities. That is, until an American doctor working in Costa Rica treats two patients who have both been attacked by the "hubia." Their test results, which indicate that they have been poisoned by a mysterious venom, are passed down to Dr. Alan Grant, a renowned paleontologist who is working on a dinosaur dig in Montana with his associate, Ellie Sattler.

Grant has just uncovered another fossilized velociraptor skeleton in the Montana Badlands, and is interrupted by a phone call from John Hammond, his wealthy sponsor for the dig. Hammond insists that Grant and his assistant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, fly down to Hammond's private island near costa Rica for a consultation. They are to be joined by Gennaro, a lawyer for InGen; Ian Malcolm, a mathematician specializing in the field of chaos theory; Tim and Alexis (Lex), Hammond's young grandchildren;

A tour of Hammond's crowing achievement, the as-yet-unopened theme park, Jurassic Park, proves deadly as the security systems go off-line and the untamed dinosaurs overtake the island, killing anyone and anything in their path. The unwelcomed human visitors are separated and each group must find a way back to safety -- and stop the rampaging dinosaurs.



The Lost World
Hardcover
Published in 1995 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
393 pages.

Paperback
Published in 1996 by Ballantine Books
430 pages.

Six years after the death of John Hammond and the mysterious destruction of his Jurassic Park island of Isla Nubla, mathematician Ian Malcolm discovers a second island off Costa Rica, where Hammond created his genetically bred dinosaurs. He travels there with a scientific research team including paleobiologist Richard Levine, Sarah Harding, and two stowaway kids, Kelly and Arby, both 11 years old.

Once on the island, they find themselves on the run for their lives from some of the killer dinosaurs with whom Ian has already crossed paths, along with some new killers. The group not only has to contend with the dinosaurs, but with murderous rival scientist Lewis Dodgson and his cronies, who are out to steal the dinosaur eggs and bring them back to the mainland, as well.



Do you believe that it was a catastrophic event like an asteroid (as you allude to in "Jurassic Park") caused the distinction of the dinosaurs or do you believe it was something more gradual? At the end of my research for Lost World, I was persuaded that a cometary impact alone, no matter how massive, was insufficient to cause dinosaur extinction. Nor would it explain the time course of that extinction, which took place over many thousands of years. However, a comet impact might well have disturbed the entire biosphere for a period of years, perhaps interfering with food supply and thus producing weakened animals susceptible to any epidemic disease that came along. Many extinctions are thought to be the result of a combination of stresses of this sort.






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