Scientists Fear Fossil Bounty Hunters Will Spur Price War

By Keay Davidson San Francisco Examiner | THE JOURNAL RECORD, July 9, 1999 | Go to article overview

Scientists Fear Fossil Bounty Hunters Will Spur Price War


Keay Davidson San Francisco Examiner, THE JOURNAL RECORD


SAN FRANCISCO -- Sixty-eight million years ago, Cinderella stomped around the humid swamps and forests of Montana, her 10-foot-high shoulders knocking off tree branches as she pursued small mammals and other four-legged snacks.

She was a 35-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex, the king of the dinosaurs well known to Jurassic Park fans. In her day she was Earth's leanest, meanest and hungriest fighting machine.

Nowadays her scant remains, and those of her fellow dinosaurs, are so enormously prized that they attract high prices, at potential risk to the low-budget science of dinosaur research. Complete dinosaur skeletons command prices in the millions, a temptation that encourages thieves.

Five years ago, someone sneaked into an office at the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California at Berkeley, surreptitiously opened a file drawer and swiped the sole proof that Cinderella -- as Berkeley scientists have dubbed her -- had ever lived: a 2-foot chunk of her jawbone.

Then, it appears, the thief sold Cinderella's jawbone and plaster copies of it.

The recent recovery of the fossil in Europe by the FBI renewed scientific fear that a federal proposal to open public lands to fossil bounty hunters could create a price war, blocking scientists' access to quality bones.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is studying possible impacts of letting fossil hunters sell bones found on federal lands, as advocated by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

These fossils now must be turned over to approved repositories such as museums.

"Some of us in the field of paleontology have been oblivious to this (threat) because to us, these fossils are research items, or are used in teaching or public education," said David Lindberg, director of the Berkeley museum. "And all of a sudden, we've realized we're sitting on a small Fort Knox."

A few years ago, Sotheby's auctioned off a near-complete T. rex skeleton for $8 million.

The scientific community breathed a sigh of relief when the investors turned it over to the Field Museum in Chicago, but fear that future fossil-robber barons may not show such public spirit. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Scientists Fear Fossil Bounty Hunters Will Spur Price War
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.