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  1. #1
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    Is this legal? selling dino bones?

    Apparently, there is a market/black market for dinosaur bones. The whole thing seems kind of sketchy to me. I thought historic artifacts were protected, for example sunken treasure, etc. need to be registered or something.

    Example: http://www.twoguysfossils.com/dino_jurassicbones.htm

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  2. #2
    GATC
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    In the US, nonhuman fossils belong to property owner and can be sold (animal parts associated w/ human archeological discoveries are protected). Big ticket items (don't know if $20k is big enough ticket) might need additional proof that they came from private property.

  3. #3
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    Interesting, thanks. I guess museums must buy the stuff from somewhere, but you would think they have relationships with paleontologists and historians who monitor these things. Looking around, it seemed that quite a few of the people involved are "self taught".

    I came across the site by accident, and something about it just didn't sit right.
    Last edited by duckforcover; 09-20-10 at 02:44 PM. Reason: thought finished
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  4. #4
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    Museums can buy stuff and can also arrange permits to collect from public lands. Permits would specify if the museum gets to own what they find or just hold it on behalf of landowner (US or state gov't usually).

    Outside the US would work similarly, permits specify where exploration is allowed and how samples are handled. Usually it's something like an academic expedition must bring the fossils to a specified local institution where they get checked into the formal collection, then the finders get an opportunity to check the samples out for a specified (limited) time period to study and write up what they find.

    There are lots of shady dealings around every edge of this kind of thing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Locally there are some road cuts that expose fossil beds, small things, Clams, crabs and the like, but still fossils. They have been accessed by all kinds of people over the years.

  6. #6
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    I guess one of my thoughts was the chance that a significant artifact might end up in a suburbanite living room as a coffee table, doorstop, paperweight, etc....

    I mean, they're digging up some stuff that looks pretty important to me (untrained eye, of course).

    Also, the name of the site implies some hokiness. When I leap frogged around some links, there were some stories of stuff actually coming into the US illegally which I guess is a no-no.

    Shady... yeah, my instincts were right!
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  7. #7
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Hard as I try, I guess I dont give a darn. Its not like they're selling the Guttenberg Bible or the Constitution - you know, something historically significant to the course of mankind.
    They're dinosaur bones - people know what dinosaurs look like and their bones aren't all that rare. Hell, every museum and university in the world has some.

    They were here before we were, and they'll probably last longer than we. If they get sold along the way, ah well....
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahut View Post
    ....something historically significant to the course of mankind. ....
    ^^this.
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