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Re: Top Ten Stories

As one of the top ten stories of 1997-1998, I cast my vote for the first
published description of _Scipionyx samniticus_ in a proper journal
(_Science_, March 26, 1998).  Not just a nice, articulated fossil skeleton
of the first Italian dinosaur discovered, but a hatchling theropod with the
best preservation of internal anatomy (intestine, liver, windpipe, and
muscle fibers) for any (non-avian) dinosaur, period!  See
And I second _Sinosauropteryx prima_, also published within the proper time

Also: John Ostrom has described the Cretaceous fossil sites in the Liaoning
province of China (where _Sinosauropteryx_, _Confuciusornis_, and
_Protarchaeopteryx_ were found) as the discovery of a lifetime; the
formation has been  described as preserving "almost a complete biota"
(note: these are not Ostrom's words).  So perhaps this could be slipped
into the top 10 stories, even though the region has been producing fossils
for some time.  The fossil assemblage is now known to be so rich, it will
take decades to get through it.

-- Ralph Miller III     gbabcock@best.com

"In praise of older vermin."