Calm Before Storm?

* Fewer hurricanes blew out of the Atlantic Ocean this year, and thanks to the Internet, people were able to protect themselves from the storms that did hit.

There were only four hurricanes during the storm season that ended on Saturday, making this year the calmest in five years. In an average season (July through November) there are six hurricanes in the Atlantic region.

More and more people are using the Internet to check on the progress of hurricanes, said Max Mayfield, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Hurricane Center. Between August and September, the Hurricane Center's Web site had nearly 500 million hits, and on one very busy day doubled the previous record high. "We are saving lives thanks to the Internet," said Mayfield.

Fossil Fake

* A famous fossil was suppposed to be a feathered dinosaur, the link between birds and dinos. But, oops -- it was the bones of a bird and the bones of a dinosaur, stuck together.

The fossils, found in northern China, fooled a lot of people. It was purchased by a collector for $80,000. And in 1999 it was the centerpiece in an exhibit at the National Geographic Society's Explorers' Hall. But soon afterwards, Archaeoraptor was declared a fake.

Chinese researchers quickly discovered that the tail of the animal belonged to a small, meat-eating dinosaur known as a dromaeosaur. And last month, they figured out that the rest of the fossil belonged to a single specimen of an ancient fish-eating bird, Yanornis martini. Both creatures lived more than 110 million years ago.

The latest findings were published in the journal Nature.

-- From staff and wire reports

Archaeoraptor: A creature that didn't really exist.