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Re: Bambiraptor (comment on Brochu's comments)

Philidor11 wrote...
> I've been trying to figure out how I feel about a hypothetical situation.
> Imagine a place where fossils are weathering out of the ground and being
> destroyed.  An expedition from a museum is not coming, at least for a long
> time.  Selling or exporting fossils in the country containing the site is
> illegal [snip]...
> Fossils are a legitimate part of a country's history and private control
> reduces fossils' value to science, so I wish I could advocate
> But if the alternative is simply loss...

    In a case like this, how long is "a long time" before the museum shows
up?  A few months, possibly with heavy rains in between?  A year?  How much
of the specimen will be left before they arrive?  Even if half of a skeleton
is destroyed before the museum arrives, thats still half a skeleton more
then would be availible for study then if the whole thing was collected and
sold illegally.
    As far as your idea for liscensing private collectors, what kind of
requirement for "availibility for study" did you have in mind?  Part of the
idea behind museum collections is that they are supposed to be availible for
people to examine for work being done years in the future.  Will the future
owner of the privately collected fossil be legally obligated to let
scientists into thier living room to examine the specimen whenever they ask
for as long as they own the specimen?
     The "availibility for study" on the part of the private collector or
owner is really at the whim of the owner, and this is probably an important
reason for the reluctance on publishing privately owned material.  What use
is a holotype if a future owner decides to keep the material locked up and

A psychic is an actor playing the role of a psychic.
-Psychologist-magician Daryl Bem

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.
-Margaret Bonnano
Jeffrey W. Martz
Graduate student, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University
3002 4th St., Apt. C26
Lubbock, TX 79415