the Guardian reports, with photos
> Beijing fossil exhibition prompts rethink of mammal evolution
> New public exhibition at Beijingâs Museum of Natural History features scores of previously unseen fossils
> Most of these specimens have never been seen first-hand by anyone except curators and the research teams who found them
> Professor Zhe-Xi Luo from the University of Chicago was one of the key organisers of the exhibition and symposium in Beijing. I asked him how this exhibit came together: âit was not so easy that many local museums would donate their specimens for a common public exhibit. I must credit Dr Meng Qing-Jin, BMNH Director â he personally contacted the owner museums to secure their agreement to share their fossils for public exhibition, and to make them available for international experts to examine.â
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> The cast of the film included all the star specimens of mammal palaeontology. In the last 20 years these fossils from China â complete skeletons laid out like Egyptian hieroglyphics â have revolutionised our understanding of mammals from the Mesozoic, between 251-66m years ago. Few skeletons of mammals from this time were known previously, and so their study was restricted to a fossil record dominated by teeth â the hardest parts of the body and therefore the mostly likely to survive fossilisation.
> These new specimens are celebrities: their images splashed all over the scientific tabloids: Nature and Science front covers, multipage spreads, the intimate details of their lives poured over by a dedicated palaeontologist-fanbase.
Neil Taylor "Creo Imaginem Mente"