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Re: Fwd: [Fwd: Re: NOVA]

At 05:32 PM 3/4/97 -0500, FOSSILNUT wrote:

><< I would much rather have Sue wind up in the hands of a foreign museum than
> in the hands of a private American collector (say, Michael Jackson) who
> wouldn't give any scientists access to the specimen. >>
>I too see nothing wrong with a "foreign" museum getting Sue but the assertion
>that possession by a private collector automatically means it will be
>unavailable to science is an allegation. It is in the best interests of an
>owner to make extremely rare and important finds available to professionals
>for proper documentation, if for no other reason than to increase it's value.

I)  I did not say that EVERY private collector would prohibit access to such
a specimen; I said that I would prefer the specimen NOT go to a private
collector who would prohibit access.

II)  Although there are many exlemplary private collectors out there, I know
from direct experience that there some excellent fossil specimens (including
some within my area of expertise) which I am not allowed to publish on, or
describe, because the private owners want to keep it secret.  So, best
interest or not, there remain some less-than-helpful collectors out there.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661