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Unformatted text preview: The Lost World Michael Crichton CENTURY Published by Century Books in 1995 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 (c) Michael Crichton 1995 Endpaper map copyright (c) David Cain 1995 Endpaper dinosaur illustrations (c) Gregory Wenzel 1995 The right of Michael Crichton has been asserted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser First published in the United Kingdom by Century Books Random House UK Limited 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SA Random House, Australia (Pty) Limited 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2061, Australia Random House New Zealand Limited 18 Poland Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand Random House South Africa (Pry) Limited PO Box 337, Bergvlei, South Africa Random House UK Limited Reg. No. 954009 A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Papers used by Random House UK Limited are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. ISBN 0 7126 76902 Printed and bound in Great Britain by Mackays of Chatham PLC, Chatham, Kent To Carolyn Conger "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." ALBERT EINSTEIN "Deep in the chaotic regime, slight changes in structure almost always cause vast changes in behavior. Complex controllable behavior seems precluded." STUART KAUFFMAN "Sequelae are inherently unpredictable." IAN MALCOLM Introduction: "Extinction at the K-T Boundary" The late twentieth century has witnessed a remarkable growth in scientific interest in the subject of extinction. It is hardly a new subject - Baron Georges Cuvier had first demonstrated that species became extinct back in 1786, not long after the American Revolution. Thus the fact of extinction had been accepted by scientists for nearly three-quarters of a century before Darwin put forth his theory of evolution. And after Darwin, the many controversies that swirled around his theory did not often concern issues of extinction. On the contrary, extinction was generally considered as unremarkable as a car running out of gas. Extinction was simply proof of failure to adapt. How species adapted was intensely studied and fiercely debated. But the fact that some species failed was hardly given a second thought. What was there to say about it? However, beginning in the 1970s, two developments began to focus attention on extinction in a new way....
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