Today marks the birthday of storied explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, who started his career at the Museum sweeping up dust and finished it as the director. In between, he researched whales around the world and led a series of expeditions to Mongolia that forever altered the field of paleontology. You can still see many of his finds, including the first dinosaur eggs ever discovered, in the Museum's fourth floor fossil halls

Roy Chapman Andrews Birthday Image 1/26

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

© AMNH


Andrews is most closely associated with dinosaurs, but the expeditions he led to Mongolia also turned up amazing mammalian fossils, including Andrewsarchus mongoliensis. Named for Andrews, A. mongoliensis lived about 45 million years ago and, standing 6 feet tall and measuring 12 feet long, is thought to be one of the largest carnivorous land mammals ever discovered.

Andrewsarchus skull

Andrewsarchus mongoliensis

© AMNH/R. Mickens


While he was first and foremost a man of science, Andrews globe-trotting adventures also provided inspiration for the heroes of early-20th century pulp fiction stories. Andrews himself was even immortalized in comic book glory in the February 1950 issue of True Comics, which dramatized the exploits of the "modern dragon hunter" in Mongolia.

Andrews Comic

Former Museum Director Roy Chapman Andrews, pictured here as a comic book hero.

© AMNH


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