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

Re: Dinosaur eggs

Sorry about this message format, but my pmail for windows is up the 
proverbial creek:-)  Henry Tobin wrote this:-

<<I have seen advertisements of dinosaur eggs for sale.  Does anyone 
have any
experience with collecting, purchasing, or selling dinosaur eggs through
commercial dealers?  What kind of verification is offerred or needed?  How
do prices run?  Are there different types of eggs?  What makes for a good
specimen?  Does anyone subscribing to this group have any for sale? Are
there any good reference books or review articles in the professional
literature?  Are there any legal problems of an import/export nature?  Are
these legally considered antiques, organic matter, or mineral?  Can the egg
be maintained as a collectible but still be useful for someone to 

I have had some experience in purchasing dinosaur eggs.  Some 
successfully.  An export license is essential if the eggs are 
originally from China as the export of dinosaur eggs from that 
country is banned.  There are many eggs on the market from China and 
I have had to turn several down because of the lack of the proper 
documentation.  In any purchase or donation to our museum, we have to 
establish the ownership of the specimen before we can accession it 
into our collection.  The nature, or definition, of fossil specimens 
has always been a problem.  In fact I know of one case where a 
collection of conodonts that were going to be used for a thermal 
maturation study were classified by customs officials as soil and 
hence baked rendering them useless.  Some countries regard fossils as 
cultural or natural history items whose transport beyond national 
boudaries is strictly regulated.  In Scotland at the moment I don't 
think there is any restriction on fossil collecting and transport 
except through damage to property.  I'm trying to get this changed 
thoug as too many important specimens are being lost, destroyed, and 
becoming scientifically challenged (once a specimen is removed from 
exposure, it loses a lot of important data unless the collector is 
concerned with data collection too).

On your last point...YES...most definately.  There are always things 
that can be done on dinosaur eggs, even with a lack of data.  It is 
always preferable to have a lot of precise data with a specimen and I 
would consider not purchasing a specimen without having the 
stratigraphical data to at least formation and location to within 100 
metres. I have accepted some specimens into our collection that lack 
a substantial amount of data though (the shame of it) as some 
specimens are useful as teaching or display specimens.  The lack of 
data would restrict its scientific value however, and as I belong to 
a university museum, my prime concern is for science.  

Back to the eggs....I have heard a rumour recently that a group of 
collectors for an antique dealer in Hong Kong were shot by the 
Chinese authority for collecting dinosaur eggs without permission.  
This suggests that there are a lot of dinosaur eggs that are still 
being taken out of China illegally.  Take care not to purchase stolen 


Neil Clark
Curator of Palaeontology
Hunterian Museum
University of Glasgow
email: NCLARK@museum.gla.ac.uk

Mountains are found in erogenous zones.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)