The gorgons ruled the world of animals long before there was any age of dinosaurs. They were the T. Rex of their day until an environmental cataclysm 250 million years ago annihilated them—along with 90 percent of all plant and animal species on the planet—in an event so terrible even the extinction of the dinosaurs pales in comparison. For more than a decade, Peter Ward and his colleagues have been searching in South Africa’s Karoo Desert for clues to this world: What were these animals like? How did they live and, more important, how did they die?
In Gorgon, Ward examines the strange fate of this little known prehistoric animal and its contemporaries, the ancestors of the turtle, the crocodile, the lizard, and eventually dinosaurs. He offers provocative theories on these mass extinctions and confronts the startling implications they hold for us. Are we vulnerable to a similar catastrophe? Are we nearing the end of human domination in the earth’s cycle of destruction and rebirth? Gorgon is also a thrilling travelogue of Ward’s long, remarkable journey of discovery and a real-life adventure deep into Earth’s history.