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Fw: Bambiraptor (Tracy Ford replies to Bennett)

Tracy replied directly to me, didn't Cc the dino list, and then asked me to
forward it to the list.  So here is what Tracy said:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tracy Ford" <tlford@ix.netcom.com>
To: <cbennett@bridgeport.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2000 12:27 AM
Subject: RE: Bambiraptor (=comment on comments on Padian paper)

> >>I think Tracy may have misunderstood what I wrote.  I wrote that most
> commercial collectors and amateurs do not publish on what they find, and I
> wrote the following:<<
> That's what I get for writing a reply before I read the whole thing.
> > I am against journals rejecting manuscripts on privately held specimens,
> > because I feel it is essential to document the scientific information in
> > those specimens in case they are eventually lost or destroyed.
> >
> >>Yes, I think that journals should publish good manuscripts regardless of
> where the specimens discussed in them are.  I am at present describing
> specimens of the pterosaur Nyctosaurus that were collected by a commercial
> collector and are in private hands.  The specimens are accompanied by
> excellent locality data (Section, Town, and Range), by GPS data, and by
> stratigraphic data.  I even have a photo of the locality of one of the
> specimens and could probably go right the hole in the ground and determine
> the localaltiy to within a couple of meters.  If we were to prohibit
> publication of the descriptions, then our science could not use that new
> information provided by the specimens to further our understanding of
> pterosaurian biology and relationships.
> I think it essential that we continue to publish on scientically
> specimens in private hands so as to document the information that they
> provide in case they are lost or destroyed.  One might argue that one
> not publish on them because the owner might not permit other scientists
> access or any access to the specimens.  However, the possibility that the
> specimen may be lost, destroyed, or unavailable to scientists does not
> diminish the value of the scientific information provided by the specimen
> and should not diminish the value of a publication documenting that
> information.  I think it makes the publication all the more valuable, more
> important.  Note that specimens in qualified museums are also sometimes
> lost, destroyed, stolen, or made unavailable to scientists.  Indeed the
> difference in "safety" from loss, destruction, and unavailability between
> specimens in private hands and qualified museums is only one of
> degree--specimens are generally safer in museums, but they are not
> safe.
> I totally agree with you on this. I had the fortune (or misfortune
> on how you look at it) of seeing a Psittacosaurus specimen at a local
> Gem/Fossil show. It was from Liaoning and has premaxillary teeth! I was
> to take pictures of it, draw it in situ, skeletal and life restoration. I
> with I had the money at the time to buy it. The only thing missing was the
> hands and tip of the tail.
> We should encourage a dialgue between both the commercial collector and
> museum/institutions for the sake of Paleontology.
> And I will also get off my soap box.
> Tracy
> PS. Sorry Kim...