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Re: Sick of all the Crap on the DML
I for one learn a lot from watching dino scientists comment on silly
movies. always pick up a new fact or two, more by accident than
anything else, but always a good read.
Commercial fossils are a hot topic. Scientists hate the whole idea
since the contesxt is often lost and the specimen sometimes is. (And,
ok, a few scientists are just greedy bastards who want every fossil
in their own locked cabinet, and preferably for free. We all heard
the story of the guy in Oklahoma who somehow tricked the state
legislature into giving him ownership of every fossil.) Most,
however, just don't want the loss to science. And it is a crying
shame that there are zillions of fossils in museum storage rooms
nobody had the time or money to prepare. As a fun hypothetical
question, I once asked a dino scientist "If I won the lottery and
offered to fund an expedition, where would we go?" and his response
was that he'd rather use the money to pay fossil preparation
technicians than to go dig up something new.
I have got a few dino teeth and a square foot or two of coelophysis
trackway. None of them scientifically significant, but I have no idea
where they were found, what location, depth, for mation, or whatever.
The local museum guy knows me, and ha s a file folder with photos of
my collection. He's never come around asking to measure the
Albertosaurus tooth, but hey, if he does, he can.
Part of the problem with such commercial fossils is that something
truly new might be in a private collection and lost to science and
science would never have that piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Part of the
problem is that we don't always know what we think we do. There is a
theory (I seem to recall) that there are two kinds of T-rexes, but
until we find another 20 or 30 skulls and can line them all up and
measure them, we won't know for sure. I guess, in theory, if there
are 20 or 30 T-rex skulls unknown to science, they might solve the