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Bidding Begins For Discovery Channel Online Fossils at and Auctions Bring Specimens to Fossil Collectors and Nature Enthusiasts

SEATTLE-August 9, 1999 -- After a week-long preview, fossils from Discovery Channel Online (the web site of the popular Discovery Channel network) are open for bidding today exclusively on Auctions (NASDAQ: AMZN). Fossil enthusiasts and collectors can visit to participate in this unique online fossil auction.

This first week of bidding kicks off three consecutive seven-day auctions that will take place over the next three weeks. Each auction will feature a new selection of fossils, more than 100 in total. Curious bidders can preview photos and descriptions of upcoming auction pieces at for the week prior to the bidding start dates of August 16 and 23.'s collection of fossils includes many special pieces, ranging from beautiful amber specimens with ancient insects perfectly preserved inside to a giant eight-foot tall cave- bear skeleton dating back to the Ice Age, 165,000 years ago. Some of the less expensive pieces are valued at under $50; others cost as much as tens -of -thousands of dollars.

"Discovery Channel's mission is to inspire curiosity and help our audiences find new ways to explore the world around them," noted Andrew Sharpless, senior vice president of, a unit of Discovery Communications Inc. "With our online fossil auction we're pushing the envelope, using the most up-to-date internet technology to link people to the past. By offering these ancient objects via Auctions we are able to expand the opportunities for consumers to hold history in their hands and become virtual explorers."

The first week of bidding - from August 9 to 16 -- offers an impressive range of items primarily focusing on ancient marine life. Fossil fans can find an exceptional and beautifully preserved fossil sea reptile - the 170 -million -year -old Ichthyosaurus and a 25-million -year -old mud crab with its giant claws extended, which roamed the land that is now part of Argentina. Collectors will also find a fossilized sea scorpion, an aggressive predator that roamed the early seas 430 million years ago, and fossil fish specimens from around the world. This week's signature piece is the Ice Age cave-bear skeleton found in Russia's Ural Mountains, unique for its commanding height- measuring over eight feet tall, two feet higher than most in its species. This amazing piece is also notable for its completeness; the skeleton recovered almost completely intact. Also available to online audiences is a preview of items that will open for bidding during the week of August 16.

Internationally accredited paleontologist and geologist Dr. Stefano Piccini has worked with to create this collection from pieces he has unearthed throughout his 15-year career. Dr. Piccini is the world's first paleontologist to have established a global network for fossil preservation and is dedicated to making paleontological information available to colleagues, fossil collectors, and others interested in our scientific history.

"It's truly fantastic that and are dedicating an entire month to auctioning these fascinating remnants of our earth's heritage online," said Dr. Piccini. "Part of my passion for locating and studying fossils is sharing with others what we learn about the earth's paleontological history. This event is a tremendous opportunity to showcase these treasures and the captivating stories they represent."

"The fossil collection we are auctioning is spectacular," said Joel Spiegel, vice president and general manager of Auctions. " Auctions is about finding and discovering anything you might want to buy online. Fossil collectors and fans can now have the chance to own a special piece of our earth's history without having to be Indiana Joneses traveling to the far corners of the world." will also feature extensive information about fossils and fossil collecting; in addition, audiences can join a fossil-collecting expedition currently underway in the Alaskan wilderness.

About, Inc., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM. operates two international Web sites: in the United Kingdom and in Germany. also operates PlanetAll (, a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. also operates (, the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at;, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at; and, which offers brand name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 1999.

NOTE:, Auctions,,, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Discovery Channel Online
The award-winning Discovery Channel Online (DCOL) ( satisfies visitors' curiosity by providing dynamic ways to explore and interact with the real world. Featuring original content for the web, DCOL is the comprehensive resource for up-to-the-minute science news headlines, real-time expeditions around the world, and original in-depth feature editorials covering science, technology, nature, history and exploration. Discovery also operates Discovery Online Store located at, which further connects users to the Discovery brand by making unique and quality items available to a large audience. Discovery Channel Online and Discovery Online Store are services of Discovery Enterprises Worldwide, a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., a privately held, diversified media company headquartered in Bethesda, Md.