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Re: Laws on fossil collecting

Ilja Nieuwland wrote:

> On the other hand, sometimes material may be kept in the drawers for
> well over a decade before it is finally released to scientific study
> (e.g., Scipionyx). I wasn't referring to museum drawers, more to those
> of government institutions.

Reports I read on _Scipionyx_ stated that an amateur fossil collector from
Italy had dug up _Scipionyx_, but thought it was "just a fossil bird" (!) so
he left it in a shoe box in his basement for 10 years until he saw "Jurassic
Park" and it occurred to him that he might have a dinosaur in that box.

Unless these reports were in error, I see this as being quite different from a
drawer in "a government institution."  In other words, for all those years
that the specimen was unavailable for scientific study it was in private
hands, NOT a public research collection.

Correct me if I am mistaken.

-- Ralph W. Miller III   ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu