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Re: A Bambiraptor/Dinofest Question
>astronomy (many, maybe most, asteroids and comets are
> first spotted in backyard observatories).
True. Professional astronomers readily acknowledge their debt to amateurs
not only for these observations, but also for variable star data, novae,
and, occasionally, even supernovae in distant galaxies.
> 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
> one is a commercial venture entirely, the other includes some scientific
True again. My earliest contributions to herpetology were as an amateur, and
every herp specimen I collected is in the National Museum of Natural
History, Smithsonian Institution. My contributions to vertebrate
paleontology, Permian stuff, were collected under the supervision of the
late Richard Selton, and are in the collection of the Michgan State
University Museum. My Middle Eastern mamalogical, entomological, and
herpetological field collections from Iran and Pakistan, undertaken under
the supervision of the late USNM curator Richard Setzer, reside in the the
Smithsonian's holdings, and have yet to be fully studied, although certain
Soviet specialists were quick to describe new species of rodents I
discovered in the Iran/Soviet Untion border area. My collections of Jamaican
and Tobagoan amphibians and reptiles also repose in the Smithsonian's
collections, where I was a staff member for seven years, although many of
the latter were collected well after I had left the Smithsoninan. My minor,
that is to say miniscule, astronomical contributions have been submitted to
and published by appropriate journals. In all of the above cases I did my
best to record as much data as possible.
-= Tuck =-