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Happy Birthday, Roy Chapman Andrews!

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Born January 26, 1880, explorer Roy Chapman Andrews would later become best known for his globetrotting ways and was even said to be the model for movie icon Indiana Jones. 

This photograph features Roy Chapman Andrews in 1928 in Mongolia. At right, on the camel, is Tserin, the Mongolian leader of the expedition's camel caravan. Read all about the expedition in The New Conquest of Central Asia, by Andrews. 


Interested in Andrews's adventurous life? In honor of his birthday, here are a few places around our site (and at the Museum) to learn more. 

1. Whales Researcher, 1908−1913

Early in his career at the Museum, Andrews spent time in the field—or rather, at sea—studying whales. Click here to read all about it. 

Roy Chapman Andrews Adventuress 1913

Roy Chapman Andrews aboard the Adventuress, 1913

© AMNH Library


2. Leader of the Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia's Gobi Desert, 1921−1930

In honor of his role as leader of the Central Asiatic Expeditions to Mongolia, during which his team discovered numerous important dinosaur and mammal bones, Andrews had many fossils named for him, including that of perhaps the largest meat-eating land mammal that ever lived: Andrewsarchus mongoliensis.  (You can find a cast on display on the Museum's fourth floor, in Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals.

Andrewsarchus skull

Andrewsarchus mongoliensis

© AMNH/R. Mickens


They also discovered the largest plant-eating land mammal ever to live, called Indricotherium. You can see the gigantic skull of the animal in the Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals. 

In Mongolia, his team also discovered many new dinosaur fossils, including the first nests of dinosaur eggs, some of which you can find on display on the Museum's fourth floor, in the Hall of Ornithiscian Dinosaurs.

Protoceratops andrewsi eggs skeletons Ornthiscian Hall

A team led by Roy Chapman Andrews (1884−1960) found the first dinosaur eggs known to science, in the year 1923. You can see some of the eggs, as well as the dinosaur Protoceratops andrewsi (named for Andrews), which might have laid the eggs, on the Museum's fourth floor. 

© AMNH/D. Finnin


3. Director of the American Museum of Natural History, 1935−1942, and Writer

Andrews became director of the Museum in 1935, the same year the Hayden Planetarium first opened. Learn more about the history of the Museum in a timeline. Always a prolific writer, Andrews later retired in order to write more books. You can find many of them in the Museum's library and also online.

Central Asiatic Expeditions book RCA

The Central Asiatic Expeditions ended in 1930; Andrews's book about them was published in 1932. Read it here.


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