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Adventure Island Book Seven

Adventure Island Book Seven

The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery

Dinosaurs and Deceptions

Triceratops, T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Iguanadon . . .

Which is your favourite dinosaur?

I love them all!

I think it's the fact that dinosaurs are such a mystery that makes them so fascinating. What did they look like? How did they move? Why did they die out?  All we have are a few tantalizing clues - some fossilized bone heres, a trail of footprints there - to piece together their story.

But however big a dino-fan I am, I couldn't sneak any stegosauruses or T-Rexes into the Adventure Island series. After all, these books are about modern-day kids investigating crimes. Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift don't have a time machine to go back to the Jurassic Era or a magic portal to to a parallel world where dinosaurs still roam the earth (much to Jack's disappointment!).

So, you might be wondering how come Book Seven is called The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery? Well, the secret is that it's all about the discovery of a dinosaur fossil. And to make it extra exciting, it's not just a bit of tooth or a toenail, it's almost a complete skeleton and it looks like a whole new species that's never been found before.

What has Drift found beneath the snow?

Or is it?

It seems someone in Castle Key is out to prove the fossil is a hoax.

It wouldn't be the first time that the world has been caught out by a clever fossil hoax.  In 1912 scientists presented a prehistoric human skull they had pieced together from fragments found at a gravel pit at Piltdown in Sussex. 'Piltdown Man' was claimed to be the evolutionary 'missing link' between apes and humans. It wasn't until the 1950s that Piltdown Man was proved to be a forgery - made up of an old human skull, the lower jaw of an orangutan and the fossilized teeth of a chimp!

Amazingly, the identity of the forger is still unknown. One of the suspects was a man called Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That's a name you might recognize. Five hundred super-brain points if you remembered that he was the creator of the original Sherlock Holmes books.

And, weirdly enough, Conan Doyle was associated with another famous hoax story - although this time he was the one being tricked. Conan Doyle believed in fairies. He believed in them so much that when Elsie and Frances, two girls from Cottingley near Bradford, took photographs of fairies in their garden, he published them in a magazine, vouching that they were genuine.

The Cottingley Fairies became nearly as famous as Piltdown Man. Years later, when she was an old lady, Elsie admitted that the pictures were faked by using cardboard cut-outs from a picture book. But Frances always maintained that they really had seen fairies and that at least some of the pictures were the real thing.

The first photo of the Cottingley fairies

Do you think that the fairies in this photograph are real? Remember, this was 1917. Although photography was quite widely used by this time, digital editing was still a long way in the future!

PS. My favourite dinosaur is pachycephalosaurus, by the way!

                OPERATION DIAMOND


Question 7: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the more famous suspects accused of forging the 'Piltdown Man'. Which fictional detective is he famous for creating?

Sherlock Holmes (B)

Nancy Drew (R)


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On: Wednesday 30 May




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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on May 29, 2012 12:01 AM.

Shortlist and Winners 2012 | Childrens Books Ireland was the previous entry in this blog.

James Daunt "doesn't get" reaction to Amazon partnership, denies ever calling Amazon the "devil," and lashes out at publishers | Melville House Books is the next entry in this blog.

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