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DINOSAUR digest 64
THE DENVER SHOW (AND AFTER)
My apologies to the list; I didn't think my post was over the line
since it was just talking about a show, not advertising for a specific
dealer, and I did cover both fossils and repros and mention both sides
of the collecting issue. For what it's worth, the half-dozen responses
I have received were all positive ("I want to hear more" and that sort).
I can also state that I observed one young man at the show trying
to sell a box of theropod bones but no one would buy them because
he didn't have the landowner's permission to pick them up.
I certainly understand the "lost to science" aspect, and certainly
understand the idea that most of these would never have been dug up
and prepared and available if the only thing that could morally be
done with them is donate them to a museum.
I sort of thought you'd all find it interesting that so many
Confusciosornis and plesiosaur fossils were available.
I'm a little worried about China. There were also a lot of eggs
for sale. And the Moroccans were out in force, with entire tables
of exactly identical "real" fossils.
(Mostly of fancy trilobites)
As for the issue of collecting, I'm obviously in favor of it, but
I'm also in favor of encouraging responsibility. Whenever I buy a
fossil I get as much info as possible about it, record it on a card
and in a database, and the local college has a copy of my printout and
an invitation to borrow any of my fossils (for a few days) if they
are doing some study of a particular family/genera/species.
Personally, I think that the hard-core scientists would be happier
the more fossils they had access to, and private ownership is going
to mean 10 or 50 or 100 times as many fossils are dug up as if it
was not allowed. The best solution would be a partnership between
collectors and scholars. Let us have our rocks so long as you know what
we have. You scientists can borrow my teeth and bones whenever you
like as long as when you give them back you tell me a bit more about
them from your investigations.
The Denver, and Tucson, and Boston shows are not going to go away.
And a lot of people are going to go to them. I thought those people
would want to know a bit about what to expect and how best to get
their task accomplished. (One reader told me that if you go on the
last day you can pick up some even better bargains.)
I did not intend to offend anyone, did not intend to violate the rules,
and apologize if anyone took exception.--Steve C