[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: fossil sales

> The arguments against fossil sales strike me as being remarkably similar to
> the arguments against permitting commercial traffic in wildlife and wildlife
> parts.  I'm wondering to what extent dinosaur people have recognized the
> analogy.  Plainly those of us who oppose wildlife trafficking and those who
> oppose fossil trafficking have a common foe in the wise use movement,  which
> favors unrestrained economic exploitation of both living and mineral
> resources.  --Merritt Clifton,  editor,  ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Amen to the above. I have long thought that arguments concerning the trade in
threatened and endangered species apply equally to fossil species. After all, 
what could be more endangered than an extinct species. There will never be any
more of these produced. Abundant or not such individuals are finite. Just 
because fossils have long been treated as commodities doesn't mean that they 
should be. Unfortunately, I don't believe the political will to interrupt the 
trade is there. I am afraid that fossils as a commodity are a fact of life and 
best we can do is as individuals to minimize the damage that this can cause. To
me this means that anyone, professional or amateur, who claims to have a love 
of fossils as objects of study should not do anything to support a market in
fossils. I also think that anyone who is fortunate enough to be able to work
with and study fossils, either as a professional or as an amateur, but 
especially the former, has an obligation to educate, train and otherwise
include those with similar interests. This is what is best for the science.
This forum seems to be an extremely satisfying example of how this can be done,
and I know of other examples that show that it can work.

George F. Engelmann
University of Nebraska at Omaha