Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/330

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tected situation of this inland body of salt water, and its placid surface, it was a favorite region for countless and divers animals of strange aspect. The waters swarmed with swimming reptiles of unfamiliar shapes and great size, while over its surface hovered and soared innumerable pterodactyls searching for their prey in the waters beneath. The delicate bones of the pterodactyls, beneath the pressure of the superincumbent rocks, have been, almost invariably, crushed flat, requiring skill and care in their excavation. Sometimes, though rarely, has a skeleton been found nearly complete; more frequently are the scattered bones found here and there. Considering the great buoyancy of their bodies floating upon the surface of the water, or sinking slowly through the ocean's depths, swarming as it was with many predaceous scavengers, one can only wonder that so many have been preserved all these millions of years for the delight and amazement of the modern student of geology.