Mesozoic mammal palaeontology is in the middle of a revolution. Since the first mammals and their closest mammal-like relatives were discovered in the early 1800s, most of the fossil record for these earliest ancestors of ours were fragments of jaw and isolated teeth, the size of rice grains. In the last fifteen years however, an increasing number of more complete skeletons have been found in China, radically changing our understanding of the first mammals. It turns out they were more diverse and ecologically specialised than anyone previously suspected. Now we have new skeletons, it is more important than ever to pull together and sort through the historical fossil finds and descriptions. This means tracking down old and often obscure scientific papers.