COOL IMAGES: Believe It Or Not

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Science  23 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5414, pp. 551
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5414.551a

The giant flying creatures called pterosaurs that soared above the dinosaurs about 70 million years ago were reptiles, but in this 1843 drawing an artist has crossed the scaly beasts with a marsupial bat, giving them fur and ratlike ears. Such curious missteps in biology and paleontology are featured at Strange Science—from a 1678 rendition of Earth laced with deep underground rivers and lakes, to a fake sea monster made from five fossil whales that toured the United States and Europe in the mid-1800s. Denver Web page designer Michon Scott says she's “just an interested amateur” paleontologist, but she started posting old pictures from books a couple of years ago and the site took off. Other goodies include a timeline of discoveries (both gaffes and the real thing) and scientist biographies.

www.turnpike.net/∼mscott

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