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Swiss Collector Finally Get Memento of Allosaurus Find

Swiss Collector Finally Gets Memento of Fossil Find

SHELL, Wyo. (AP) - A commercial Swiss fossil collector says he's pleased to
have finally received a memento of his company's most impressive find.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management last month presented Kirby Siber with a cast
of the skull of the allosaur named "Big Al."

Crews from Siber and Siber first unearthed the fossil remains of the
Jurassic-age, flesh-eating dinosaur northwest of Shell in fall 1991. The crews
were digging with permission on private property when they accidentally wandered
and found the dinosaur on adjacent BLM land.

Commercial fossil digging is not permitted on federal land. The BLM took
possession of the dinosaur and used teams from the Museum of the Rockies in
Bozeman, Mont., to finish the excavation.

Siber said he was disappointed to leave Wyoming without the find but he
understood the laws.

Siber said the cast is almost indistinguishable from the actual skull and "is
the next to best thing." He said it will go on display in his dinosaur museum
near Zurich, Switzerland,

"I just thought it was appropriate when you consider that we may never have
known about this dinosaur if it weren't for him," said Duane Whitmer, manager of
the BLM's Cody Resource Area.

Casts cost from $400-$500 to make. Other casts are on display at the Greybull
Museum and at the new visitor center that overlooks the Buffalo Bill Dam west of
Cody. The Big Al site also has been proposed for designation as an Area of
Critical Environmental Concern, which would development.

Siber said his teams have continued to excavate dinosaur remains on private land
in Wyoming, and spent about three months this summer in the state. One of their
finds was a skeleton of a diplodocus, a 55-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur.

They have found about half the creature's fossilized bones intact and hope to
find the rest nearby. Because of its brittle nature, the skeleton has been
dubbed "Crumbly."

Siber said many area residents helped his team in the dig, which also attracted
about 500 visitors and school groups from the Bighorn Basin.