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Re: DINO NOTES
> Just picking up bones loses most of the information available with them.
> Their ultimate value thus is reduced greatly. This practice, which not
> all commercial collectors stoop to, sacrifices knowledge for ephemeral
> financial gain. Not a good trade in the long run.
Paleontologists are trying to put together a big comprehensive
the history of life on earth, and to do that the context of any fossil is
mandatory. Jerry mentioned Dyscolocosaurus (sp?) in a recent posting.
This sauropod was reported by the collector as coming from the Lance formation
although it is likely in fact from the Morrison. However, the
uncertainty prevents us from putting in its evolutionary context, and
thus rounding out our understanding of saurpod evolution. Is it a new
diplodocid genus from the Morrison or a (VERY) late Cretaceous survivor?
The information this fossil could give us if we were certain of its
context is lost. Its kind of like if someone told you there was a dude
named Thomas Jefferso who stood about yeah big, had a ponytail, and lived
in a really nice house, but neglected to mention when he lived or his
part in the War of Independance of the development of American government.