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Re: fossil collecting
>From: Robert.J.Meyerson@uwrf.edu (Rob Meyerson)
> It seems to me that there is an immense distrust of anyone collecting
> fossils who does not have a degree or two under his/her belt.
> I wonder if this is due to arrogance on our part, thinking that
> anyone who does not have the schooling cannot be trusted.
Actually, part of it is that those who have training know how easy
it is to screw up a collection. Even many "professional" excavations
are seriously botched. How many people realize that it is important
to record the *exact* location and orientation of *each* bone removed?
How many know how to remove bone without damaging it? (I know *I*
don't know how to do that). Just digging the bones up and hauling
them to the museum may destroy half the scientific value of the bones.
This is NOT a matter of trust in the sense of whether the finds
will be used for personal gain or not, it is a matter of trying
to get the highest probability of informative removal.
Almost every professional paleontologist knows first hand of at least
*one* situation where better records would have resolved or avoided
a substantial research issue.
The peace of God be with you.