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RE: Bambiraptor (comment on Brochu's comments)

>     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.
        There exist both scrupulous and unscrupulous private/commercial
collectors. The scrupulous ones far outweigh the 'bad apples' but as in most
things, the negatives are accentuated and that is what is published or
communicated tainting all. The problem of important specimens weathering
into oblivion is a real issue. I have had conversations with BLM geologists
who have indicated that specimens on federal land are exposed and quickly
deteriorating. In one instance, a dinosaur skeleton was noted on federal
land and recognizing the value, the BLM geologist contacted various
institutions in an attempt to preserve this specimen. Unfortunately due to
lack of funds, manpower and interest (more exciting finds apparently exist
overseas yielding more press coverage and grant opportunities) no one came
forward. The next summer, while revisiting the site, the geologist noticed
that much of the exposed vertebrae had been crudely excavated (probably by
screwdrivers) in haste to excavate before being caught performing an illegal
act. This is a case of the 'bad apples' (probably individuals looking to
cash in on the dino-hype) destroying a potentially significant specimen.
Wouldn't it be more beneficial if a reputable commercial outfit could be
utilized, if interested, to preserve the specimen rather than it being
ravaged by time and 'scavenging.' I believe some outfits would be interested
in this opportunity to excavate the specimen solely for casting rights with
the original specimen held in the public trust at a proper museum or storage

        Bob Simon
        'Looking for common ground in this tempest in a teapot.'