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Re: black-market T.rex

  There was an article in the local paper last night about a man, Gord Hamilton,
who lives in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, Canada (about 10 km away from me)
who claims he has a black-market piece of a T.rex.
  He says that he bought a fossilized piece of shin bone from a black-market
dealer in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada this summer. To quote Hamilton: "Because
of cutbacks in research funding, some researchers are finding it morally accept-
able to sell portions of their discoveries in order to fund their research". The
author of the article (not Hamilton) goes on to say: "The discovery of a com-
plete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on the banks of the Frenchman River in Sask-
atchewan earlier this year could be worth up to $5 million in today's booming
market, with countries like Japan major players."
  "While the fossil <Hamilton's> is not confirmed as the bone of a T-rex by any
expert, Hamilton expressed confidence in the sincerity of the seller, as to its
authenticity. He would not disclose the purchase price." The picture shows a
white streak of bone(?) about two fingers wide in a piece of rock about 30 cm
long. It is described as "a deep, rusty brown color and appears to have a
marrow-like appearance on either end. The interior of the fossil, which is ex-
posed on one side, has crystals growing in the cavity." "Apparently, Tyranno-
saurus bones were quite different from other prehistoric creatures. They were
honey-combed, not solid. They were also less dense than those of other carniv-
orous dinosaurs. These features seem consistent with Hamilton's find." Hamilton
wants to show the fossil to "high schools, local museums and any other inter-
ested groups."
  Hamilton is a small-time author, with only a passing interest in paleontology,
writing a children's book about natives in the Okanagan valley, and a book about
Elvis. This seems like a publicity stunt from him. However, the issue is, has
he really got a piece of T.rex from the black market?

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer