Dinosaur, bird, and early mammal fossils in the fossil beds of Northern China are famous for their exceptional preservation. But in what way did they die to be so well preserved? One team of paleontologists concluded that sudden pyroclastic volcanic eruptions with air blasts, hot gas, and ground-hogging clouds of fine ash, likely, smothered, charred and then carried forward everything in their path to create these bone beds. Well, that’s quite graphic. The say this explains how the creatures were buried on lake floors and were so well-preserved, much like the victims of the infamous Pompeii eruption in 79 AD.