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Pictures of the Past

For centuries, scientists and the public have been fascinated by the appearance of extinct organisms. To modern eyes, the early reconstructions of dinosaurs, pterosaurs, or even humans may now seem rather fanciful. However, palaeontologists and artists of the day used the information to hand, generally a combination of the best current interpretation of the fossils combined with a knowledge of living analogues. Inevitably, as scientific knowledge has improved, these interpretations have changed.

In this series of web pages, undergraduates from the second year of the undergraduate joint honours geology and biology programmes at the University of Bristol chose topics and worked in pairs to produce a series of pages focusing on some key ancient organisms.

Thecodontosaurus illustration courtesy of Richard Deasey.
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