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USA Today article on Xu Xing



Forget Indiana Jones: Dinosaur hunter Xu digs it

By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY

BEIPIAO, China ? On this spring day, a renowned
dinosaur hunter is visiting Five Generation Gully, a
dusty site near here in Liaoning province, to look at
some newly discovered bones.

He recognizes that what appear to be lumps of stone
jutting from a rock formation are actually the remains
of a 49-foot, long-necked, plant-eating Sauropod from
120 million years ago.

All in a day's work for Xu Xing, China's real-life
Indiana Jones. In a country that has taken center
stage in the world of paleontology, Xu is a star.

He has played a role in some of the most important
fossil discoveries of the past decade, including the
microraptor, a four-winged dinosaur ? "So strange and
unusual; I love this dinosaur"? and last year's
discovery of the world's largest birdlike dinosaur, a
flightless beast the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

So what does Xu have in common with the whip-wielding
movie character played by Harrison Ford? 

They're both scientists and professors. Xu works at
the Beijing Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and
Paleoanthropology, a top dinosaur research
institution.

And they both have adventures. 

Xu says he saw the first Indy film (the fourth
incarnation, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the
Crystal Skull, opened May 22) and recounts his own
encounters with snakes, scorpions and spiders during
his desert digs.

Xu says he was inspired by the late American explorer
Roy Chapman Andrews, often mentioned as the real-life
model for the fictional Jones character. 

Rest of article at...

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2008-06-09-xu-dinosaurs_N.htm



Mark