China building boom uncovers buried dinosaurs, makes a star
China’s rapid city building has churned up a motherlode of dinosaur fossils, and no one has seized the scientific opportunity more than one paleontologist.
Xu Xing (shoo shing) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has named more dinosaur species than any living paleontologist. He races between dig sites to collect specimens and further scientists’ understanding of how birds evolved from dinosaurs.
The diligent standard-bearer for China’s new prominence in paleontology is embracing technology. His team is using CT scanners to study the interior of fossils. They are also building 3-D computer simulations to make inferences about what range of motions a dinosaur may have had.
He says one of the fossils found at a construction site will shed light on how modern birds’ reproductive systems evolved from dinosaurs.