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Re: illegal fossil sales?

Michael Schmidt wrote:

>To put it simply, China does a piss-poor job of protecting things.  Yes, it
>is actually punishable by death to remove dino eggs out of China.  Does
>that stop it from happening; no.

As a reporter who has investigated fossil smuggling, I have heard similar
comments from others. However, China is not alone; fossil smuggling is an
international plague. Russia and Brazil have had serious problems as well.
>For everyone of those beautiful Confusciousornis birds that is collected,
>10 are destroyed in the process.

That's the saddest thing. I have heard that the original Protarchaeopteryx
was recovered in pieces and had to be glued together. Most of the pieces
seem to have survived, but the breakage made interpretation different. What
other marvellous specimens are being lost in the rush for quick money?

To be fair, the Chinese farmers who have excavated some specimens have done
a wonderful job of finding and preserving them, notably Sinosauropteryx.

-- Jeff Hecht