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Re: Laws on fossil collecting
> << In some countries (e.g., Italy), all
> vertebrate fossil remains are treated like antropological remains (and
> subsequently disappear into dark museum drawers), in others there is no
> legislature at all. >>
> The museum drawers may be dark, Ilja, but the fossils do NOT
> disappear. Although specimens like a certain Archaeopteryx do become AWOL
> from private collections, treasures like the Berlin specimen that Heilmann
> brilliantly delineated remain safe in their comfortable and safe, albeit
> dark, museum homes where they should be. DV
And of course specimens go AWOL from "public" collections as well. (I've
seen many a post from museums trying to hunt down lost or presumed stolen
The real point is that some countries are so strict that amateurs can't and
don't collect. This is a loss for everyone since public and private
collections alike receive specimens from amateurs. Fossils won't make it to
the "dark drawers" of public institutions unless they are collected. And
many important specimens are collected by amateurs.
I'd like to second the motion for a web site cataloging laws on collecting.
(If it would help, I happily offer my web design skills.) Responsible
collecting should be taught and encouraged.