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Commercial fossil collectors once worked hand in hand with academic paleontologists, selling important finds to museums and universities for research collections. In November, however, the two groups clashed, as commercial collectors placed legally excavated and scientifically important specimens up for public auction.
The asking price for one major dinosaur specimen exceeded $5.5 million—more than most recession-hit museums could afford. The specimen went unsold, but the event raised many questions. Should commercial collectors be permitted to sell important fossils? Should the American government protect all significant fossils for scientific research? And what impact does the legal fossil trade have on science?
Join us for a live video chat with dinosaur experts as we discuss how the commercial fossil trade impacts science.