China's Dinosaurs - Dec '97 - Jan '98

Dr. J. Keith Rigby of Notre Dame University took eight of to Beijing and Yuxi
(You-she) City to continue his decade-long relationship with the Chinese.
He is one of a few westerners to have access to Chinese dinosaurs.

  When Richard Nixon was invited to China in
  1974, and 'opened the Orient' to the western 
   world, he saw this structure and said:    
  "This is a Great Wall."    

  The name stuck.  

  Not all Chinese structures are old.  In Yuxi City, 
  our hotel was built by the tobacco barons of Yunnan 
  Province.  Tobacco is a major economic crop in the 
  region.  Across the street they are erecting a new  

  dinosaur museum - an educational facility. 

  Hmm --- things are the same the world over.   
  The educational facility called DUKE University  

  was founded by the tobacco kings, the Duke Family. 


  When bones are found they are 'jacketed' with 
  Plaster-of-Paris-soaked burlap cloth.  
  Back in the lab it takes saws and hammers and chisels 
  to not-so-gently awaken the bones. 

 Each fragment is then pulled out and cleaned on all sides with a dental pick.
 Slooooow going.
 And then it must be remembered where it came from.  This is a 3-D jigsaw puzzle.

   Getting A Head In The World: 
  This is a tooth mark where a predator sampled  
  the hors doeuvres.  See below . . .   

A close up of the tooth-print. 

  Speaking of teeth  . . .

   A vertebrae that was an enormous "challenge" to reconstruct.  Good old Elmers . . . (glue)


 The leg bone's connected to the . . . .


  Jim was holding hands with a dinosaur.
   Pam (his wife) noticed. 

  This was a real prize to reassemble.

  A highlight of the trip was an English / math  
  lesson to 18 children -- who were MUCH more 
  attentive and involved in the lesson than . . .  
  say . . . some EIU students i have known.  

  We were the first 'round eyes' some of these 
  children had ever seen. 


  What a classroom ! 
  The "truck" is a gerry-rigged Roto-Tiller  

  with a pickup bed.  It is a very common  

  mode of transportation in China.   

  It is a very large source of pollution, too.  

  This Asian water buffalo meandered the streets of  
  the village.  Errata:  the STREET of the village.

  When we entered the town the children were 
  trying to ride this pig.  

   Hey, this is downtown China --   
   no MTV --   
   no Internet.  

  What's a kid supposed to do for fun ?  

  Maybe some American kids would profit from 
  turning off MTV / Internet -- and figure out how  

  to ride a pig. 


  A charming face of China.  
  What stories she could  tell - personal - 
  political - historical.  
  How does she feel about these strangers 
  coming to look at the 'bones in the hills?' 
  An afternoon tea with her would be so revealing. 

 In many places throughout the world the day begins 
  with a hunt for firewood.   
  Find it and you eat hot food today.   

  And if you  don't . . .


  Dino Trekkers:  (from left) 
   ï our super bus driver 
     ï mr. bai - geologist & musician 
       ï cfmbl 
         ï brian - geologist, friend and interpreter 
           ï eagle eye - reputed to see dino teeth at 50 paces 

  We camped out for two nites -  
  @ 24 N. Latitude - which is "Miami - West"  

  -- but @ 6,500 ft altitude, when the sun 
   set, the temperature plunged.  

  (notice this print is color-coordinated to my tent -  
  is this a great page or what?)


  But back in Beijing (a.k.a. Peking) we were 
  ducking snowflakes 
  (the origin of the term: Peking Duck) 
  and to get warm i cozied up to Lufengasaurus.

  Federal Express: 
  When you're shipping dinosaurs to the 

  DinoFest in Philadelphia (April-May 1998), 

  pack them in styrofoam blocks ~15 cm thick 
  - and then cut out a place for the bones to 


   Remember to LABEL which part  

   goes where. 


 to be continued . . . .