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Re: The fate of Nyctosaurus specimen KJ2

On 22 September 2011 09:44, Mark Witton <Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I recall reading a discussion a while back about the unknown
> whereabouts of the fancy antlered Nyctosaurus specimens described by
> Chris Bennet in 2003. I'd heard they were up for sale online and, lo,
> one of them has recently been reposted at everyone's favourite online
> auction.
> [URL redacted]
> Note that the skull has been reconstructed and, apparently, the matrix
> smoothed over with plaster. With no casts of the original available in
> any museums (that I know of, anyway), this is something of a loss to
> pterosaur science. I'm wondering what state the original material is
> actually in now and, should this specimen ever make its way into a
> public collection, how long it would take to undo all the
> 'improvements'.


Folks, this is exactly why the SVP has a zero-tolerance attitude to
privately owned specimens.  From Bennet's (2003) paper:

"Recently, two new specimens were collected that demonstrate that
Nyctosaurus had a large cranial crest.  The specimens were collected
by Mr. Kenneth JENKINS of Ellis, KS, and were purchased by a private
collector in Austin, Texas, who intends to retail them permanently.  I
acklowledge that scientifically informative specimens should normally
be conserved in an appropriate museum, but have opted to describe
these specimens now"

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

-- Mike.