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K. Padian's reply - RE: JVP, SVP...too many 'VP's...

Below is Kevin Padian's reply to Toby White's post of 5/26/00, posted with
permission. - Mary

Toby White does not seem to understand the letter published in Science, 
and I hope that dinolist habitues will read it for themselves.  Investigation
based on a specimen is not dubious simply because the specimen is 
privately owned.  As I noted, the Graves Museum is making a heroic attempt 
to preserve this specimen for the public good.  However, the specimen is
restored and mounted, and as its describers noted, some important parts of
it were destroyed during collection.  The mount is very nicely done, but 
the original parts are effectively inaccessible to further study.  This 
situation makes it difficult to further scientific comparison.  Of course, 
if you're not interested in research, then you won't see this as much of a 

I noted in my talk at the Florida symposium that commercial collectors and 
paleontologists have many opportunities and channels to work together.  Our 
paleontological heritage belongs to posterity.  It should not be trivialized 
to the status of trinkets or mantelpieces.  Mr. White's other comments 
speak for themselves.

Kevin Padian
Professor and Curator
Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140  USA