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WEB SITES Paleontological Research Institution: American Museum of Natural History: Museum of the Rockies: The Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley:

The Web sites contain information about the museums' collections and any educational programs or field trips they may offer. They include links to other sites about dinosaurs and the early history of the earth.

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Lasting Impressions: A Guide to Understanding Fossils in the Northeastern United States, by Karen Edelstein, in collaboration with the Paleontological Research Institution (1999, 99 pp.). It's available from Cornell Cooperative Extension for $20 (price includes shipping). Call (607) 255-2080.

The guidebook is specific to fossils in the Northeast, but it's also an excellent resource for beginners of all ages. It has advice on where to look, what to look for, and the supplies you'll need. Teachers may be interested in it, too, as it includes student activities. Good black-and-white illustrations.

The Eyewitness Handbook of Fossils, by Cyril Walker and David J. Ward (D. Kindersley, 1992) is another basic guidebook with good photographs of specimens. It's very user-friendly and appropriate for older kids (ages 10 and up) to use on their own.

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fossils, by Ida Thompson (Knopf, 1982) is a more comprehensive guidebook and appropriate for the serious beginner.

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