Figure 1.1   People love to collect fossils. Many professional paleontologists got into the fi eld because of the buzz of fi nding something beautiful that came from a plant or animal that died millions of years ago. Fossils such as these tiny fi shes from the Eocene of Wyoming (a), may amaze us by their abundance, or like the lacewing fl y in amber (b), by the exquisite detail of their preservation. (Courtesy of Sten Lennart Jakobsen.)

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