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Fwd: Re: Liaoning Freak Show at Dinofest

My first thought, as a non-professional avidly interested in paleontology, is how many different fossils are they finding around Liaoning to do this sort of cobbling? Obviously, not every fossil found would be appropriate to try to use as part of a money-making chimera. If one dealer is able to accumulate enough varied fossils for this kind of display, just how many are being found there that are not going through official avenues? Also, were any informative pieces trimmed off in the "melding" together of different fossils for these displays? However this is being done, it looks to be a losing situation for the acquisition of knowledge, although probably a profitable enough one from a strictly monetary point of view. How sad.

X-From_: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu  Sat Dec  2 14:39:39 2000
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2000 17:38:25 EST
Reply-To: Danvarner@aol.com
Sender: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu
From: Danvarner@aol.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Liaoning Freak Show at Dinofest
X-Mailer: Windows AOL sub 125

In a message dated 12/2/00 9:38:18 AM Pacific Standard Time,
gbabcock@best.com writes:

<< Other Liaoning fossils were indeed apparently cobbled together from
 unrelated animals, a la the infamous _Archaeoraptor_ and the notorious
 rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur sporting the head of _Confuciusornis_.  Three
 such specimens stood out at Dinofest.  >>

     This is, of course, an absolute nightmare for any dinosaur scientist or
anyone who really cares about the science of vertebrate paleontology.
Dinofest and similar events like the recent "Bambiraptor" symposium exist for
many reasons. One of those reasons is to enable commercial fossil dealers to
gain cachet by playing footsie with real scientists and to publish along side
of them (if you're lucky enough to have the papers actually published). Of
course, everyone wants to see the treasures--I know that I do, but if this is
the price, if this is what they are willing to place before the public in
order to sell tickets, I want nothing to do with them. I realize I'm not
breaking any hearts here (just losing potential customers), but I will not
exhibit in or even set foot in a Dinofest or any similar venue.
  Dan Varner