Dinosaur fossils and business… a lucrative market that annoys paleontologists

“We can show the specimen, we can even study it, but we cannot publish the results of our research.”

Have fossils become luxury items? Even at the Museum of Natural Sciences, an original allosaurus skeleton that sits in the dinosaur gallery belongs to a private owner. He bought it for the modest sum of 2 million euros. If he lends his precious skeleton to the museum. Researchers cannot do whatever they want, as Thierry Smith explains to us: “We can show the specimen, we can even study it, but we cannot publish the results of our research.”

It’s a barrier to research

In other words, in this case, our scientists cannot share their results. Our paleontologist explains: “This is a new species of Allosaurus. We must therefore follow a very specific protocol, the nomenclature code in zoology to describe the species. This requires us to deposit it in a public institution, in the the Institute of Natural Sciences, or we can’t because it belongs to a private owner. If one day he agrees to give it to the institute, there will be no problem.”

And carry on, “This is the limit of this type of loan. It is positive for the public and visitors but for science, it is less interesting even if we can carry out research we cannot divulge it in a scientific way. is a hindrance to research.

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