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Padian and Commerciality
Eric Lurio wrote:
<In other words, they think that only THEY should be allowed to dig
fossils. If it wasn't for amateurs and commercial interests, there
wouldn't have BEEN any paleontology. Cope and Marsh were commercial
collectors and everything they dug up were commercially collected
I feel this assessment of Padian's essay is not taken in full stock
of the situation, especially in regards of the means through which Cope
and Marsh attempted to prevent material of each other's from being
studied (wholesale destruction of finds and quarry material) or the
degrees to which Sihetun and other Liaoning sites are mined by farmers,
or even the methods through which the Bambiraptor specimens were
recovered, which is really, really sad. A shovel had been planted right
into the type specimen, as described by Burnham et al., which no
professional paleontologist would have done. And please, there has been
no boycott of specimens. Padian's point is that accessibility is
limited and in any case, unless your credentials are very high and
respected (like Mike Triebold and our own Ray Stanford, or Pete
Larsson) any material that is being sold on the market from private
collectors or merely ranchers and farmers like in Liaoning Province,
China, they are suspect. Now see whast "Archaeoraptor" has become, a
laughingstock to some. I respect Padian for his words and his
fearlessness on this matter. He is taking a more conservative approach
than I know is out there, including some voices on this list.
I would ask that on any dig or site found, a professional, if even an
archaeologist, be allowed to supervise. The specimen will be maintained
and cared for, such as "Tinker." The sale of a recent complete Morrison
stegosaur fossil as a "wall-mount" is annoying -- A Dinosaur for the Mantle.
Jaime "James" A. Headden
Dinosaurs are horrible, terrible creatures! Even the
fluffy ones, the snuggle-up-at-night-with ones. You think
they're fun and sweet, but watch out for that stray tail
spike! Down, gaston, down, boy! No, not on top of Momma!
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