Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dino Cowboy Does a War Whoop; Palentologists not Amused

The New York Times writes about "Dino Cowboy" and his important paleontological find on private land that is going to auction.  The fossils apparently show two dinosaurs locked together in mortal combat, a rare example of fighting that could help illuminate dinosaur behavior.

But not everyone is pleased. Many academic paleontologists dislike private collecting of fossils as much as many academic archaeologists dislike private collecting of antiquities.  Yet, as the article states,

[M]any paleontologists acknowledge that there are commercial collectors who excavate sites with care. And private fossil hunters maintain that without their industry, many specimens would never be found and would over the years simply deteriorate in the open.

Congratulations then to Dino Cowboy on his important find. It is doubtful that it would ever been uncovered by an academic paleontologist.

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