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Another story from Fox News Wire (www.foxnews.com/news/wires2/),
dated March 25, 1998, 12:49 p.m. ET (1750 GMT), by Malcolm Ritter
of Associated Press: "Fossil of baby dinosaur shows muscle fibres,
This is about a fossilized baby dinosaur of a previously unknown species
which has been named Scipionyx samniticus, found in the 1980s in
southern Italy, Italy's first dinosaur find (according to Cristiano
Dal Sasso of the Museum of Natural History in Milan). It is dated
to 113 million years ago, is described as a two-legged meat-eater,
a hatchling about 2 ft. in length but which would probably have been
about 6 ft. in length as an adult. The fossil includes the skull
and nearly all of the skeleton, missing part of the legs and much
of the tail. It is so well preserved that scientists can see muscle
fibres and the intestine. There will be a detailed description of
the find in Thursday's issue of _Nature_.
The article quotes Thomas Holtz Jr., a dinosaur expert at the
University of Maryland in College Park, as saying that the
preservation of soft tissues is useful because "there's only so
much we can learn from the skeleton."
"A lot of the interesting aspects of zoology don't have much
to do with the bones."
George Pesely, Dept. of History, Austin Peay State Univ.
Clarksville, TN 37044 USA email@example.com
P.S. The name Scipionyx probably honors Scipio Africanus,
the Roman general who defeated Hannibal at the battle of Zama
in 202 B.C. The Samnites were an ancient people of central and
southern Italy--presumably the fossil was found in their territory.