Happy Birthday, Roy Chapman Andrews!

by AMNH on

News Posts

Born in 1880, explorer Roy Chapman Andrews became known for his globetrotting, and may even have been the model for movie icon Indiana Jones. 
Dated 1928, Chimney Butte. A Mongolian man, Tserin, on a camel pointing out something in the distance to a man in a hat, Roy Chapman Andrews standing by a tent on a dry flat landscape.
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

Interested in Andrews's adventurous life? In honor of his birthday, here are a few resources to learn more. 

Whales Researcher, 1908−1913

Early in his career at the Museum, Andrews spent time in the field—or rather, at sea—studying whales.

Roy Chapman Andrews Adventuress 1913
Roy Chapman Andrews aboard the Adventuress, 1913
© AMNH Library

Leader of 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.

Andrewsarchus skull
Andrewsarchus mongoliensis
© AMNH/R. Mickens

You'll find casts of both Indricotherium and Andrewsarchus mongoliensis on display on the Museum's fourth floor, in the 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.

Glass case on the Museum’s fourth floor with two Protoceratops andrewsi fossil skeletons standing on a model dry dirt surface next to a clutch of eggs in a bowl-shaped depression.
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

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 his role in the Museum's history. A prolific writer, Andrews later retired to write more books. You can find many of them in the Museum's library and The Biodiversity Heritage Library.

The cover of the 1932 book by Roy Chapman Andrews titled “The New Conquest of Central Asia.”
The Central Asiatic Expeditions ended in 1930; Andrews's book about them was published in 1932. Read it here.