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National Geographic magazine, December 1998

I just picked up my copy of the December '98 _National Geographic_ (from a
bookstore; my subscription hasn't yet mailed me this issue).  

One of the "Geographica" pages in the front covers the "New Dinosaur From
the Sahara," which is _Suchomimus tenerensis_.  Skrepnick's color
restoration takes up the top 1/3 of the page.  There are no photographs or
illustrations of the skeleton.  There are two photos of paleontologists at
work, and two paragraphs about the discovery and a description of the
animal.  I don't know if future issues will cover this animal further; I
hope so.  As Dinogeorge would say, get the _Science_ article.

Pages 34-41 contain the article, _Dinosaur Embryos: Unscrambling the past
in Patagonia_, by Luis Chiappe, with photographs by Brooks walker and art
by Mick Ellison.  The first two pages feature a color spread of the square
inch of fossilized embryonic titanosaur skin (the specimen with the triple
row of enlarged scales).  The article title and a shot documenting the dig
overlap the photo, but you non-the-less get a good look at the texture,
greatly enlarged.  The following pages show more shots of scientists
picking away at the egg fragments, a nice shot of titanosaur eggshell lying
on the ground ("saying 'turn me over, look at me,' " as Walker puts it), a
long shot of the site, an actual size cut-away view restoration of one of
the titanosaurs inside the egg,  a shot of preparator Sergio Saldivia
scraping clay and silt from a cluster of the eggs, a nice enlarged shot of
some tiny teeth, Lowell Dingus scraping a bit of eggshell, a wide shot of a
five-foot-long cluster of eggs (looking very broken up), and a full page
Ellison painting of four newly-hatched titanosaur babies being watched by a
parent (head and part of the neck leaning into view), with a group of
adults in the background.  In the latter picture, the titanosaur head looks
rather diplodocid-like, in contrast to the brachiosaur-like image Thomas R.
Holtz, Jr. recently recommended on our list.  There is also a small map
directing the reader to the fossil egg site.  The article, as usual for
this magazine, gives first-person accounts of the discovery, and gives a
simple description of the land, the fossils, and their significance.

-- Ralph Miller III     gbabcock@best.com