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>There are many people who just want to be able to hold a fossil and look
>closely at the detail to learn first hand about ancient life on earth.  An
>alternative for some of these people is to buy high qualtiy fossil replicas.
>I work with Skullduggery which manufactures and sells replicas thru mail order 
>to people all over the world. Replicas can provide people the opportunity to
>study fossils without adding to the frenzy of the buying and hoarding of
>original material.
>If there is any interest I would love to read what this group thinks about the
>selling of replicas. I feel that it is important that the museum or individual
>who owns the original, from which a replica is made, be paid a royalty for each
>cast sold. Any comments?

 I'm surprised that museums don't sell more replicas in their souvenir shops. I
think it would be a marvelous way of both funding the museum and promoting
paleontology. I know I bought a T.rex tooth replica at the Royal Tyrrell
Museum. I would like to buy a T.rex skull replica, but the cost (thousands of
dollars) is ridiculous.
 Museums could also sell fiberglass replica mounts to other museums to make the
first-class displays accessible to more people. Right now the Tyrrell Museum is
the nearest place that I can look at mounts. It is a thousand mile round trip,
so I'm lucky to see a dinosaur mount once a decade (I have been twice in 20
years). In order to see a Brachiosaurus, I would have to make a 6000 mile round
trip! So if the Carnegie Institute (is that where it is?) would be willing to
trade the Tyrrell Museum a Brachiosaurus replica for say an Albertosaurus
replica, it seems to me that the public and both of the museums would benefit.

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer