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Re: Beautiful Fossils

In a message dated 7/18/98 2:15:24 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
wgp@dana.ucc.nau.edu writes:

<< Just curious as to what fossils people feel are the most beautiful ever
 found, either visually appealing or of course scientifically.. >>

In my opinion, the most striking and, I guess, beautiful fossils are the
recent Chinese feathered dinosaurs.  I did not get to see them personally, but
even the photos were stunning.  To me, they appear to provide the same
combination of aesthetic beauty and evolutionary information as other
overpowering specimens of the fossil record such as the Berlin Archaeopteryx
and those from the Cambrian explosion.  On the other hand, my most cherished
fossil is the first fossil I found--while on a fishing trip many years ago at
Cooper Brook in Northern Maine--a simple dinner plate sized limestone block
with impressions of the Devonian brachiopod _Leptocoelia flabellites_.  The
difference in the scientific value of these various specimens is obvious, but
I can''t compare the two in terms of beauty, since, as always, beauty is in
the eye of the beholder.