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Dinobirds at the NHM



Dear DMLers,

I went to see the Dinobirds exhibition at the Natural History Museum
yesterday afternoon (I had some business in the area, so I was able to
slot it in).  Truly awesome.  Anyone on-list who lives in London and
hasn't yet seen it, consider your wrists slapped, and get down to
South Kensington ASAP!

Lots of significant fossils on display, including the London
_Archaeopteryx_ (which I believe is generally held under lock and
key), _Protarchaeopteryx_, _Caudipteryx_, _Sinosauropteryx_ (two
specimens) and -- best of all -- The Dinosaur With No Name, NGMC 91:
both slab and counterslab.  Lots of _Confuciousornis_ specimens, and a
few others that slip my mind.  No _Beipeiosaurus_, though, which I'd
have liked to see.  I guess the exhibition's thrust is to do with the
development of flight rather than just feathered dinosaurs.

Anyway.  It's are-inspiring to see this stuff in the flesh after
having read so much about it.  The museum's done a good job of setting
the speciments in low, non-glare cabinets, so you can get really close
to them and pick out details.  NGMC 91 is presented particularly
dramatically: facing you at the end of a short corridor as you turn
the corner.  It looks absolutely unreal, the slab and counterslab like
the pages of a huge book -- it's only when you get up really close to
it that you can see it's not just an illustration.  Amazing.

And the most amazing thing of all: no-one's looking at it.  I was in
the exhibition for about thirty minutes, and in that time I saw maybe
five or six other people total.  I just about had the place to
myself.  I'm imagined it would be like when you go to the Louvre and
get to the Mona Lisa room, and it's packed with people so all you get
is a far-off glimpse of the painting in between other people's heads.
Nope.  I had '91 to completely to myself for ten solid minutes.
Amazing.  I don't know where everyone is -- maybe they're put off by
the £5 entance fee -- but from a selfish point of view, it was great.

Anyways.  Get down there.  You'll love it.

There's more about the exhibition at
        http://www.nhm.ac.uk/museum/tempexhib/dinobirds/
and of course, the now well-known NGMC 91 photographs at
        http://research.amnh.org/vertpaleo/dinobird.html

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor   <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>   www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Sure it stinks, but only a little stink; not the horrendous
         stench you might find in some other alleged ``science''
         reports" -- Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. in a mellow mood