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Re: Bambiraptor

>>From HP Brochu:
><If it doesn't go to a museum, it might as well have not been collected, as
>far as science is concerned.>
><And since most reputable journals (including JVP and Jour. Paleo.) will not
>accept for publication papers describing privately-held material, such
>specimens are essentially unpublishable.>
><In fact, having them end up in disreputable hands is no different from
>having them rot in the field.>
>I'm not arguing anything here.
>But my immediate reaction is surprise at statements that could be summarized
>Specimens might better disappear than be collected for private sale.

More accurately, they're no different than if they'd disappeared.  And it
all depends on (a) the quality of information gathered at the time of
collection and (b) their ultimate residence.  If we don't know where they
come from, and if they are unavailable for future examination, there isn't
a whole lot we scientists can do with them.  This is no different than if
they're in the field uncollected.

The problem with private ownership, as I've said before, is long-term
curation.  I've met several private owners who are more than happy to share
their material with professionals.  But what happens when these people die?
Unless their collections are willed to a museum (which happens), the
specimens might be sold or even discarded; there is no guarantee that
information (when present) will stay with the specimens; and the collection
might be divided up.


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