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Re: Minotaurasaurus controversy



Quoting robins@ualberta.ca:

> It is terrible about the provenance of the specimen, because it is  
> scientifically important. But the problem with publishing on a  
> specimen like this is that it will encourage illegal trade in fossils.  

I seriously doubt that illegal fossil dealers care whether or not papers get 
published about the 
material or not. Unless of course the author's state in the article that 
they're on the lookout for 
more material and are willing to pay almost any amount, no questions asked. 
Even if illegal fossil 
dealers did read scientific journals, somehow I doubt such a statement would 
make it through peer-
review.

Plenty of specimens have been described from museum collections with little or 
no provenance 
data (Dyslocosaurus comes to mind). Come to think of it, anything sitting 
around in a museum for 
a long time may well date back to the days when fossil collecting involved 
fighting off the local 
indigenous people, or simply taking things without asking because it was for 
the 'greater good' 
(Elgin marbles). Should we not study and publish such specimens, despite the 
fact that their 
scientific value is not diminished by their method of acquisition?

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
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