Beijing 2012: The Paleozoological Museum

A hidden gem across the street from the Zoo in Beijing is the Paleozoological Museum. It’s small, has no real air-conditioning, isnt’ well-lit, but if you want to see Confucianisaurus, then that’s where you must go.

Confucianisaurus is the fossil that changed all ideas about dinosaurs — it has color; it has feathers.  It is clearly a bird.  It is clearly a dinosaur. And it’s not that easy to find — since it’s just among all the other fossils on the second floor.  There’s a sign, but if you didn’t know how important it was, you would never learn it there…

Other amazing treasures include even more stunning holotypes — fossils that are the name-bearing examples of whole species that have gone extinct.  The preservation and details were exquisite.  The exhibit tried to make a parallel between the Archaeopteryx and the mythological phoenix… I guess they do kind of look similar…

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