Science: The Petite Monster

To French paleontologists, the limestone quarries on the Canjuers Plateau in the Alpine foothills northwest of Nice are a rich mine of prehistoric treasures. Once a warm, atoll-dotted sea, the beds recently have yielded a pterodactyl (the earliest flying reptile), the fossilized remains of an ancient seagoing crocodile and a 140 million-year-old fish so well preserved that its scales are still clearly visible. Now, in the course of routine stonecutting, a quarry owner named Louis Ghirardi has turned up an even more important prize: a superbly preserved fossil of a birdlike dinosaur, one...

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