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I've just received a copy of what looks like a fascinating book:
Adrienne Mayor, 2000, _The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek
and Roman Times_, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05863-6.
Mayor discusses the way that various fossil vertebrates were
interpreted by Classical observers. I loved the way she took a model
of a mammoth skeleton, twisted it around, and turned it into a human
giant, a la Polyphemus. It looks like there's stuff about centaurs,
satyrs, griffins, and other odd beasts. I think I will enjoy this
book as much as anything in a long time.