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Dino Newswires



Some Newswire Stories of interest.
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HK customs officers seize dino eggs
 HONG KONG, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Hong Kong customs officers discovered an illegal
shipment of 45 suspected dinosaur egg fossils and more than 500 smuggled
antiques Friday after searching a truck that drove across the Chinese border.
 Authorities searched the vehicle after the driver crossed the Hong Kong
border and turned in a declaration form claiming there were 100 cartons of silk
flowers on board the truck, police officials said Friday.
 Besides silk flowers, officers also found 562 items of suspected antiques and
45 eggs suspected of being dinosaur egg fossils. Beijing bans the export of
dinosaur eggs, and lists the offense as "looting China's national treasures."
 The contraband also included 283 clay figurines, porcelain sculptures and
pottery items, as well as 23 pieces of bronzeware, 10 stone sculptures, 85
bundles of antique coins, 50 antique drawings and 66 antique books from China,
authorities said.
 The driver, a Hong Kong man, was arrested and released on bail.
 This marks the second such seizure this week. On Sunday, customs officers
found 15 dinosaur eggs among a shipment of Ming Dynasty items.
 Authorities believe the antiques were almost certainly destined for the
international market and some had probably been stolen from ancient graves.
 Officials believe the antiques could have been re-exported to collectors in
Europe, America, Taiwan or Japan.
 A paleontology expert said a dinosaur egg fossil in top condition could fetch
as much as $4,000.
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This one isn't really dino, but it does have some information
that could provide dino insights. (Ok, it's a stretch.)
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Scientists find leftovers from world's first lunch
 LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuter) - British scientists said on Wednesday they had
discovered the remains of some of the animal world's first meals and found
primitive creatures probably ate dirt.
 Sorting through 400-million-year-old deposits, they found tiny pellets of
faeces from unknown insects that provide some of the earliest evidence yet of
animals eating either plants or the remains of plants.
 In a report in the science journal Nature, Dianne Edwards of the University
of Wales and colleague said their finds pre-dated similar evidence by 90 million
years.
 "The assumption that one had a very simple food chain of animals eating
plants and then animals eating other animals does not have any evidence in the
fossil records," Edwards, a palaeobotanist, said.
 She said the first land animals -- creatures similar to today's centipedes
and millipedes -- ate first plant detritus (also known as dirt) and then each
other.
 The faecal pellets found in the remains of an ancient stream-bed in Wales
were full of plant spores, Edwards said -- which could be evidence of the first
animal eating a plant.
 "I personally don't believe that," she said.
 "The digestion of cellulose is a very difficult process. Only bacteria and
fungi do it today."
 Even big-time plant-eaters like cows rely on bacteria in their stomachs to
digest grass, she pointed out.
 What was significant, she said, was that this was one of the earliest
examples of the "food chain" on land.
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