FILE – this Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in a file photo, shows a model of a Tyrannosaurus rex at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, N. M. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
The dinosaurs are in the news these days, but it’s not always for happy reasons. While paleontologists have been making ground-breaking discoveries, and their work is often overshadowed by the outrage that yet another fossil was auctioned off to the highest bidder. The most recent controversy is going to be a very rare “baby” by T. rex, which is currently on eBay for more than $2.9 million, but that similar auctions are the same. The same vendor also has a list on its website of a “real” triceratops skeleton for $890,000.
Such a sale, it is a matter of concern for scientists, who fear that the high prices paid by private collectors and will be testing out of their reach. New theories about the history of life on Earth, it can’t be tested, but unless the scientific community also has easy access to the material evidence. This is the main reason that the majority of peer-reviewed scientific journals refuse to publish research on specimens that are not housed in a public archive.
For their part, the commercial collectors have begun to argue that the fossils in the ground, it will eventually be lost to erosion, and that the museum can hardly afford to collect all of the copies. By private collectors, represent an incentive for working on the landscape and on the recovery of these remarkable creatures, in the market for a dinosaur, more of them will be made available to the general public.
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