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[Dave.Unwin@bristol.ac.uk: Stolen dinosaur skulls]



Apologies to those of you that already saw this message in the other
two fora, but it really seems appropriate to this list... -- MR

Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:14:55 +0000 (GMT)
From: D M Unwin <Dave.Unwin@bristol.ac.uk>
To: vrtpaleo@usc.edu, paleonet@ucmp1.berkeley.edu
Subject: Stolen dinosaur skulls

Dinosaur skulls stolen from Paleontological Institute, Moscow

In August 1996 remains of five dinosaurs including part of the skull and a
lower jaw of Tarbosaurus and three skulls of Protoceratops were found to
have disappeared (believed stolen) from the fossil repository of the
Palaeontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. These
remains are currently valued at $11,000. 

Details of the stolen items are as follows:

PIN 551/2. Lower jaw of holotype of Tarbosaurus efremovi. 
Maleev 1974. Gigantic carnosaurs of the family Tyrannosauridae. Fauna and
Biostratigraphy of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic of Mongolia. Transactions of
the Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition, 1, 132-191. Figure
14, p. 149. 

PIN 551/3. Maxilla with teeth of Tarbosaurus efremovi. 
Maleev 1974. Gigantic carnosaurs of the family Tyrannosauridae. Fauna and
Biostratigraphy of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic of Mongolia. Transactions of
the Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition, 1, 132-191. Figure
1, p. 140; Figure 4, p. 142; Figure 1, Plate 2. 

PIN 3142/1. Skull (syntype) of Breviceratops kozlowskii. 
Kurzanov, S. 1990. A new Late Cretaceous protoceratopsid genus from
Mongolia. Palaeontological Journal, 24, 91-97 (English version 85-91),
figure 1, pg. 94, 

PIN NN 3147/7. Undescribed skull of Protoceratops.

PIN NN 3148/8. Undescribed skull of Protoceratops.

Further background details have been published in the lead news item of
Nature, 12 December 1996, vol. 384, p. 489. 

We have three requests:

(1) If anyone has or obtains details as to the current whereabouts of
these specimens would they please report this to their local police
authorities, and also pass on any information to the Joint Moscow-Bristol
Working Group For The Return Of Stolen Russian Fossil Material. 

(2) Would all those who receive this message please forward it to
colleagues and any list-servers dealing with palaeontology, geology or
biology (other than vrtpaleo and paleonet). 

(3) Any suggestions as to what other methods might be used to tackle this
problem would be gratefully received. 

Incidentally, the large number of amphibian skulls (20+) which were stolen
from the Palaeontological Institute collections in March 1992 have, with
the exception of a single specimen recovered by Rupert Wild, not been
located or returned to the Institute. For further details of this
particular theft see Lethaia, 25, pp 360, and discussion of the theft in
Nature (1994) vol. 371, p. 729). We appeal again to anyone who may have
seen these specimens or know of their current whereabouts to pass on the
details both to us and to the police. 


JOINT MOSCOW-BRISTOL WORKING GROUP FOR THE RETURN OF STOLEN RUSSIAN FOSSIL
MATERIAL.

Michael Shiskin, Palaeontological Institute, Moscow, Russia
David Unwin, Dept. of Geology, University of Bristol, England
Igor Novikov, Palaeontological Institute, Moscow, Russia
Michael Benton, Dept. of Geology, University of Bristol, England
Eric Buffetaut, Universite Paris 6, Paris, France
Rupert Wild, Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde, Stuttgart, Germany
Glenn Storrs, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, U.S.A.
Makoto Manabe, National Museum of Natural History, Tokyo, Japan