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Re: Dinosaur eggs

  It isn't so much a case of dealing in such common fossils, but how the
  fossils were obtained in the first place. My field area has been
  raided at least a couple of times by 'professional' collectors, after
  distinctive red-stained Redlichiid trilobites up to 20 cm long. The
  collectors were only after good specimes (a bit difficult to find when
  the deposit has three cleavages) and so wasted a lot of material,
  breaking up odd looking swirls and poorly preserved
  fragments. Unfortunately the deposit is classed as a lagerstatte (site
  of exceptional preservation) - one of only a very few dating from the
  Early Cambrian and those odd swirls are actually soft bodied material
  such as the trilobite _Naraoia_ and the arachnomorph _Xanderella_ - so
  far only found in China and _Anomalocaris_, which although scrappy is
  *much* more important that the trilobites. Indeed the first specimen
  of _Anomalocaris_ was discovered on the spoil heap left by the
  collectors, discarded because they did not know what it was. It is
  rumoured that a specimen of an unusual round fossil was found. No
  other round fossils have been found in the deposit, so if true, this
  would be a new specimen. However it is alleged (This is going to court
  this year hopefully) that this specimen amongst others was shipped to
  Japan and sold at a fossil fair - the specimen has disappeared and we
  will never know what it was. There is also evidence to suggest that
  the collectors may have used dynamite on the deposit.

Thanks for the clarification.  Hope you can nail the bastards in court.
This sounds like Ediacaran fauna, so I appreciate its importance
(but I thought the Ediacaran stuff was *pre* Cambrian).

Jim Foley                                    (303) 223-5100 x9765
Jim.Foley@FtCollinsCO.NCR.COM                NCR-MPD Fort Collins

        Cat: `I'm hungry, I just have to eat'
        Lister: `Shh, Rimmers dad's just died'
        Cat: `I'd prefer chicken'                    --- Red Dwarf