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Re: A Bambiraptor/Dinofest Question

>  Do any other sciences (aside from Mineralology, of course) have an
>equivilent to the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show or Dinofest? These expositions
>seem to me to be rather like the Auto Show or the Boat Show or the Sportsman
>Show I grew up with back in Minneapolis. For instance, does anyone know if
>archaeology has an equivalent to this phenomenon? Is there an Archaeofest
>somewhere? Herpetology? Ornithology? And if such a thing exists apart from
>dinosaur science, do they also publish (if you're lucky) some type of
>proceedings that include papers, peer reviewed or otherwise? I'm very curious
>about this. Dan Varner.

Equivalents of the Gem and Mineral Show certainly exist for herps and birds
- Fish and Wildlife frequently monitors them, because whereas our animals
are already dead, some of the species sold at these shows are endangered,
but still extant.  There's a herp show twice a month near Chicago - I've
seen some surprising things for sale there (including baby anacondas and at
least four species of crocodylian).  And I've heard about "artefact" shows,
which are as disturbing as Tucson Gem and Mineral.

As for equivalents of DinoFest - I don't know,  but the number of sciences
where serious nonprofessionals can make a real contribution is relatively
small.  Paleontology is one; others include archaeology, herpetology (range
extensions are often published in things like _Herpetological Review_),
ornithology (Christmas counts are an important source of ecological
information), and astronomy (many, maybe most, asteroids and comets are
first spotted in backyard observatories).

Which brings up an important distinction - "commercial collector" and
"amateur collector" are NOT the same thing.  Many museums maintain good
working relationships with local nonprofessional collectors, and the
collectors are often included as authors when new taxa are found by them.
This is the distinction between a fossil show and something like Dinofest -
one is a commercial venture entirely, the other includes some scientific


Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geology
Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

phone 312-665-7633
fax 312-665-7641
electronic cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org