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.

In this Sept. 12, 2018, photo, paleontologist Xu Xing examines an ancient crocodile skull and teeth, recovered from a dig site in Yanji, China. The excavation was begun after construction crews erecting new apartment buildings accidentally uncovered dinosaur bones and other fossils, dating back 100 million years. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

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.

In this Sept. 12, 2018, photo, paleontologist Xu Xing stands in front of a dig site in Yanji, China. The excavation was begun after construction crews erecting new apartment buildings, visible in the background, accidentally uncovered dinosaur bones and other fossils, dating back 100 million years. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)
In this Sept. 12, 2018, photo, paleontologist Xu Xing leads a dig site, foreground, next to new apartments being constructed in Yanji, China. The excavation was begun after construction crews uncovered dinosaur bones and other fossils, dating back 100 million years. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

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.

In this Sept. 12, 2018, photo, a dinosaur model stands near the site of a future dinosaur museum in Yanji, China. Paleontologist Xu Xing opened a dig site in Yanji after construction crews erecting new apartment buildings accidentally uncovered dinosaur bones and other fossils, dating back 100 million years. (AP Photo/Christina Larson)

He says one of the fossils found at a construction site will shed light on how modern birds’ reproductive systems evolved from dinosaurs.

Source: The Associated Press

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