RYOSUKE MOTANI, who was born in Tokuyama, Japan, is a researcher in the department of paleobiology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. As a child he found ichthyosaurs uninteresting. (¿They looked too ordinary in my picture books,¿ he recalls.) But his view changed during his undergraduate years at the University of Tokyo, after a paleontology professor allowed him to study the only domestic reptilian fossil they had: an ichthyosaur. ¿I quickly fell in love with these noble beasts,¿ he says. Motani went on to explore ichthyosaur evolution for his doctoral degree from the University of Toronto in 1997. A fellowship from the Miller Institute then took him to the University of California, Berkeley, for postdoctoral research. He moved back to Canada in September 1999.