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Albertosaur found (but remains in ground!)
There is an interesting article in the April 14, 1995 issue of _Science_ (vol.
268, pages 198-199) that relates the rather sad and convoluted situation
that can occasionally arise when amateurs, landowners, and professionals
all cross paths. The article by Carol Potera tells the story of a tourist
family from Bellingham, WA. out on vacation that happened to find a rare
Albertosaur skeleton during the summer of 1994. Good news, right?
Well, not quite. If anyone, professional or amateur on this listserver,
thinks that the collecting issues are clear-cut, they should read this article.
In short, the tourists didn't win (they were portrayed as robbers by the
press); the professionals don't win (they don't have the Albertosaur; the
landowner refuses to let anyone dig it up, primarily because he feels as though
he has been manipulated by the professionals, and invaded by the amateurs);
and the biggest loser of all is that rare albertosaur, which remains in the
ground, and may stay there indefinately. It is a real mess.
This story broke in my local Bellingham newspaper last year, and I meant
to post something on it at the time, but newspaper copyright prevented me
from doing so. If you have access to _Science_, you really should look it
up. It's a really depressing story, though.
(the original story appeared in _The Bellingham Herald_, August 13,