When I was a young fossil fan of about nine, my favorite book was David Norman’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. The local librarians must have wished that I’d just buy a copy instead of checking it out at least once a month. But I couldn’t help it. The book was dense with information and imagery, with a menacing menagerie of scaly dinosaurs brought to life by artist John Sibbick. Every time I rifled through the pages I was struck by something I had never thought about before.
I was especially transfixed by a small inset in the introduction titled “Fossilization”. The small diagram followed five steps for turning a living animal into a pile of bones ready for excavation