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Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
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Premium for Ancient Poop
19 May 2004 (All day)
Betty Grable's famous legs were insured by Lloyd's of London for $1 million. Now the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina is trying to figure out the value of a much less sexy treasure: a football-sized chunk of fossilized dinosaur poop.
Weighing in at 7 kilograms, the Tyrannosaurus rex coprolite was the largest known when museum fossil hunters found it poking out of the Saskatchewan mud in 1995. But the rock's very uniqueness makes it difficult to set a price. So museum officials recently sent a note to an e-mail list for paleontologists, asking for opinions. It's all part of a routine insurance assessment, says earth sciences curator Harold Bryant.
Michael Sincak, owner of Treasures of the Earth Ltd. in Hollsopple, Pennsylvania, believes the coprolite would probably sell for $15,000 or more. But he's not sure, because nothing quite like it has ever been on the market. (You can get a small one for about $10 on eBay.) Scientifically, though, "it's priceless," says Mark Goodwin, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology. "You're trying to put a square peg in a round hole when you try to put a value on it."