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Re: Bambiraptor

In a message dated 11/19/00 2:18:48 PM Mountain Standard Time, ELurio@aol.com 

<< <<Chris (who was sickened to see dinosaur teeth from Africa for sale at the
 Geological Society of America meeting, and who is definitely writing to the
 GSA president to complain.) >>
 Eric I....where paleontologists could examine them! Had they been banned, 
 would have been sold somewhere else. After all if the GSA confiscated them, 
 it would be stealing!!! Paleontology is mostly detective work. It wouldn't 
 that hard to track down where they had been picked up.

First, most of the teeth that are sold at fossil shows are collected and 
smuggled to the US.  That means they are ILLEGAL to own and sell.  There is 
no infrastructure set to take care of it ....so it continues.  That is what 
we need to change.  The entire infrastructure regarding fossil sales and 
collections.  Yes, GSA should confiscate them, and return them to the country 
of origins.  Oh, but what about the cases that don't have locale information? 
 Gee, isn't that the point of the science, description of paleoenvironment 
and ecology...that is really hard to do without geographic, sedimentological, 
or geochemical analyses.  Sure a tooth morphology could be described but to 
what end?  If it was a new theropod tooth that was unique you couldn't find 
out where the heck it came from....I can see the JVP title now....new 
theropod from somewhere in Africa....well, it probably wouldn't even pass 
    Granted, paleontology is detective work, but usually the detective work 
involves locating excavation localities of deceased paleontologists.  Bill 
Wahl of the Tate museum has recently located a site from Knight 
(meglanuesaurus sp?).  But he used field notes, old oil and gas maps and 
pictures taken down as data during the original collection.  Next time you 
are at a fossil show try to gather collection locals, just try it.  There 
people are making money off of their locals, think they will divulge that 
information quickly and readily?  They will happily tell you it is from 
private land in so and so county of so and so state.  But that is as good as 
it gets usually.  There are of course exceptions to every rule, but regarding 
the dealers at GSA...they buy from fossil show dealers, and resell else where 
(such as GSA).  Shoot...Im ranting again aren't I....back to subject...It's 
illegal (regarding African dino teeth), poor collection techniques and site 
descriptions, and the only way to change that is to change the infrastructure 
regarding collection and sales of specimens.  I think Padian's suggested 
plans are an outstanding starting point.  He has gotten the ball rolling, 
lets help it gain so momentum and put up as a potential bill to safeguard our 
nations fossils, while not shooting down commercial collecting.  The balls in 
our court, lets play.  And thanks for this thread, it is most pertinent.

Dave Lovelace
Wyoming Paleontological Association
935 S. Melrose 
Casper, WY 82601