Thursday, 30 September 2010

Fossil News, October 2010

Museum News

Hats off to Oxford Natural History Museum. Always a fine fossil museum. It has plenty of STUFF, including historic holotypes, and has not yet sold out to current design fads of models, diagrams and no real fossils. Until November it has a special exhibition of modestly stunning lower Cambrian soft-bodied animals from the Chengjiang formation of China. This is the first official display lent from Chinese academic collections and contains animals that are unlike anything that exists today including some particularly weird crustaceans. Evolutionary beginnings and dead ends when evolution was in its infancy.

More Museum news

Taunton Museum Somerset is set to reopen soon after an £8 million revamp. A small but very cute and complete Plesiosaur found a few years ago at Hinkley point in the Bristol Channel will be the new centrepiece.

Plans are afoot to put the Alfred Gillet collection of Jurassic marine reptiles from Street, Somerset on public display thanks to the philanthropic efforts of Clarks Shoes. Many of the fossils were actually exposed in local quarries that provided the stone for Clarks’ workers cottages and factory buildings. With admirable Quaker sentiments Clarke’s plans to house the collection in a grand old building adjacent to Clarke’s village, their factory outlet shopping centre.

These snippets of information were gleaned at’ Two hundreds years of West Country sea dragons: Thomas Hawkins and his fossil legacy’ – a two-day symposium held at Street and sponsored by local and national organisations and an anonymous grant (more Quaker philanthropy and justified local pride?)

Thomas Hawkins was a colourful character to say the least It is permanently under discussion whether he was a confidence trickster, fraudster and profiteer or merely egocentric, obsessive and mentally ill. He was certainly a bigamist and thoroughly litigious. He intimidated quarry workers with threats and violence to secure his fossils at knock down prices and had the charm or guile to sell his collections, not just once but twice, to the newly formed Natural History Museum at highly inflated prices.. His ideas of restoration involved adding missing parts ,often anatomically incorrect and from other specimens and lengthening specimens by adding more bones to make them the right shape for wall mounts. There is a Mary Anning specimen of his from Lyme Regis in the Natural History museum with Whitby Ammonites placed in the matrix, which are 20 million years younger than the Ichthyosaur itself.

Indignant questions were asked in the House of Common about the excessive sums of money (£20,000, 150 years ago!) he secured from the public purse. Most entertaining.

There were also talks about the West Dorset fossil collecting code of conduct- an enlightened initiative that encourages non academic collecting, the Lyme Regis (Philpot museum)( see article about Remarkable Creatures )and about the efforts of amateur collector and world expect on Kimmeridge fossils Steve Etches to raise funding to display his outstanding world class collection, amassed over thirty years ,to the public.

Update on Manchester Museum shenanigans as reported in my last blog:
They have been persuades by such august bodies As the British Geological Survey and the Natural History Museum that it is their responsibility to maintain the unique Michael Eager collection of 20,000 non marine bivalves and, as nobody will take it off their hands, that is what they will do. The Fred Broadhurst plesiosaur will now not be taken off display. His family have agreed to fork out the cost of a new display case (a few thousand pounds) so plans to remove it to facilitate a children’s soft play area have been amended. Their latest politically correct gesture id likely to be the repatriation to China of a fossil bird purchased with Museum funds in 2000 despite the fact that there was no export ban of these fossil until 2001.

Even More Museum News

And I quote from the Geological curator newsletter. “The Ulster museum reopened in October 2009 following a three year closure and a 17.2 Million pound redevelopment. Since then the museum has received public acclaim, attracted over 400,000 visitors, won the Museums and Heritage award for excellence and been placed amongst the four short listed institutions in the running for the Art Fund Prize 2010. That’s the good news. The downside is that the museums curators have been moved to offices situated 9 miles from the museums, the collections have been re-housed in an industrial estate 6 miles distant from the curators and curator numbers continue to shrink to a level that would leave a biologist to classify the Ulster museum curators as an endangered species”.

Book News

Two must buy Trilobite table books if you have the loot:
Back to the Past Museum Guide to Trilobites by Enrico Bonino and Carlo Kier ISBN: 9788872035153. 90 Euros.
Lavishly illustrated and as encyclopaedic as the author can make it – including a selection of Trilobites from Sardinia- and you cannot get much more obscure than that! Full of tiny mistakes, a jealous Trilobite nerd tells me, but that is hardly a surprise as Trilobites get re classified and renamed every time a PHD student has nothing better to do. A visual feast based on a private collection open to the public at the Azul Sensation hotel, Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Mexico, where one of the authors happens to be the manager. Worth a visit – Trilobites and Tequila!

Ordovician Trilobites of the St Petersburg region of Russia,
Beautifully produced by St Petersburg Palaeontological laboratory. Very technical but lavishly illustrated. These elegant trilobites, and there are plenty of them, come in all shapes and sizes with spines and ornamentation in the strangest of places. A snip at £150.

More Book News:

Bit of a blunder with the cover of’ Remarkable Creatures ‘by Tracy Chevalier – a well researched novel about Elizabeth Philpot,one of the world’s first fossil collectors, contemporary and friend of Mary Anning and resident of Lyme Regis. The town Museum is now named after her. There is also a well constructed website with background information about the scientific and theological thinking at the time, a profile of Lyme Regis with typical pictures of the area and some insight into the author’s inspiration.

There is a picture of an Echioceras Ammonite from Lyme Regis on the front cover of my copy and on the back cover are pictures of a Moroccan Goniatite , a Madagascan Peresphinctes Ammonite and a Quenstetoceras Ammonite from Russia. These are all commercially available these days but were not generally collected until about 150 years after the demise of Miss Philpot and Miss Anning.

Somebody must have realised the blunder as the cover has now been redesigned and does not include these pictures. This makes my copy a collectors item. All serious offers considered.

Fossils in Fossils…In artefacts with Meteorites

Well, fossils in fossils is not so unusual – Fish with fish in their tums, Belemnites inside Ichthyosaur stomachs, Trilobites inside Phragmacones of Orthocones in Sweden, Crustaceans in fossil wood in Joggins, Nova Scotia, Gastropods inside Ammonite body chambers, Priapid worms inside larger Priapid worms in the Burgess shale, Pollen on the legs of insects in Amber, Sharks teeth stuck in whale vertebra from the Miocene… Any more suggestions?

I have seen a Neolithic scrapper made from part of a flint Cretaceous sea Urchin and I have seen a Neolithic scrapper made from Libyan glass (a Silicaceous Tektite)

Plenty of tools have been made from Obsidian (volcanic glass) and I am sure that there must be some somewhere made from Nickel Iron Meteorites.

The holy grail would be fossils( inside fossils of course) that had been struck by meteorites and then used as tools. Can anyone out there suggest permutations on this theme?

…’s one from my assistant Shaun: Well we can offer one such plausible location which is the Ries impact crater located in Bavaria, Germany and is widely believed to be the impact that created the Moldavite deposits found largely in Czechoslovakia. The impact hit Jurassic fossil bearing deposits which contained Belemnites. The fossils have been seriously distorted due to the friction and heat from the impact. I wonder if Neolithic man ever used any of the fossil bearing strata or fossils themselves?


Have you noticed how similar the logo of the Geological Society is to that of a high street brand of toothpaste?

Malus domestica

Research in New Zealand where they take apples very seriously suggests that the fruit evolved as a direct result of the same meteorite impact that wiped out the Dinosaurs and ended the Cretaceous period. Massive and rapid genetic changes allowed the Ur Apple bush to adapt to tougher conditions and change from a bush to a tree unlike its closet relations, strawberry and raspberry bushes.

Free the Frogs

Teruel is a charming old Spanish town. Recently parts of what might be the largest European Dinosaur have been found in the area. The largest carnivorous dinosaur tooth (9.8cm )ever found in Spain was found nearby last year, as well as some unusual lower Cretaceous plants. However, Teruel is most famous for uniquely well preserved late Miocene fossil frogs. If you are passing through and want to see these world class fossils you will be directed to Dinopolis, a theme park on the edge of town where you can picnic with Neanderthals, take a roller coaster ride up a T-Rex ass and see their fossil museum. This will cost 22 euros per person. If you tell the polite youngsters on the door that you just want to see the fossils, as I did, they will make a call to the boss upstairs and come back with a message’ make an appointment a week in advance or cough up’.

I have been in touch with the theme park’s director and told him he was reneging on his responsibility to allow public access to pieces of major international cultural heritage and I suggested a couple of ways this could be put right He described my suggestions as truly amazing. This was not meant as a complement. I have since discovered that there are better specimens to be seen in the Museum of the Collegio La Salle in Teruel and the Geology Museum of Zaragossa University.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

This blog started years ago as a favour for Rock n Gem magazine and appeared in every issue. The magazine changed hands and the new owners deleted all the best stuff from the last blog i.e. Manchester museums recent shenanigans, on ‘legal’ advice. I suspect my lack of respect for pagans offended their new age sensibilities but I will never know: I am not actually prejudiced against pagans in particular. I am happy to report on wrong science whether it is Jewish, Creationist, Catholic, Pagan or whatever. Rock n Gem will not be printing any more of my gems!…but I do have more Manchester meanderings in this edition of the blog. Read on.

Dinosaur Colours

A joint research team from Bristol University, the IVVP in Beijing, Dublin university and the open university identified colour bearing cells from fossilised feathers of birds and dinosaurs from the lower cretaceous Jehol beds of north east China.

They concluded the therapod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx had alternate orange and white rings of bristles on its tail and the early bird Confuciusornis had patches of white, black and orange brown colouring.

Fat Flightless Birds

Australasian Emus, African Ostriches, New Zealand Moas and South American Rheas all independently became flightless shortly after the cretaceous extinction. An abundance of food and lack of predators saw the birds put on so much weight that they had to walk instead of fly, according to research by the Australia National University, contradicting previous thought that they were all descended from non flying ancestors.

Long Time Coming

‘Dinosaurs Unleashed’ an exhibition of animatronic dinosaurs in central London was billed as ‘the family day out that London has been waiting 65 Million years for.

Life on Mars

A new analysis using high-resolution electron microscopy of a meteorite from Mars provides stronger evidence than before of preserved bacteria – i.e. Life on Mars! The meteorite was first studied in 1996 and the suggestion of bacterial remains was in considerable dispute at that time. The meteorite was found in Antarctica. It was traced to Mars because its chemical composition matched relative proportions of gases measured in the atmosphere of Mars by the Viking spacecraft in the 1970’s. Scientists say it was broken off the surface of Mars by an asteroid impact and reached Earth after floating through space for about 16 million years.

The meteorite also suggests the presence (16 million years ago) of water on Mars, which suggests more stable conditions for supporting life than today.

Two other Martian meteorites one found in Antarctica and another found in Egypt in 1911, are being studied and the results will be published soon. Both are said to contain similar evidence of microscopic life.

West Country Dragons

Following the success of last years Ichthyosaur Symposium at Street, Somerset another one is planned for this July. “It is titled 200 Years of West Country Sea Dragons” and will celebrate the 200th birthday of Thomas Hawkins. He was the most serious and prolific collector of the area, eccentric, obsessive, misogynist and disliked by all who met him.

Teeny Tiny Teeth

The first gobicondontidae remains found in the UK (a possum like creature form the cretaceous) was found recently in the Isle of Wight… with the aid of an electron microscope!

More Sea Dragons

Five different species of Plesiosaur have been found in the Bulldog shale of lunatic hill opal fields of northeast, south Australia. Because of the prevalence of juvenile skeletons it is thought that the area was a calving ground in a nutrient rich cold-water habitat.

Carping on about Carpoids

Amateur Trilobite enthusiast Bob Kennedy has a new specimen of Carpoid named after him: Galleauystis Kennedyi. He found it whilst searching for Trilobites in Betton quarry in Shropshire and recognised its significance. The publication comes 12 years after he found the fossils.

Jones the Fish

Another amateur collector, Roger Jones, has found uniquely well preserved Devonian acanthodian fish (with the aid of ace preparitor Terry Manning) that are shedding new light on generally poorly preserved fossils.

The fishes were found in nodules from a spoil heap of a well-known old site in the Dundee area and acid prepared. Acanthodians are known as ‘spiny sharks’ and continued into the Permian but the point where they diverged from real sharks – or when real sharks developed from them – is not known yet.

This is the first time that Clementius – the oldest known Acanthodian has been found with a preserved 3D skull and brain case. It has now been cat scanned by the natural history museum. Shark like dentition never seen before was also revealed. You can admire his collection at

Dead Wrong

According to the Opodo website – the official CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) specimens, Mesosaurus Brazilensis, is an endangered species. Actually this aquatic reptile became extinct 250 million years ago.

Even Wronger

Here is some American creationist nonsense that I was told recently: Butterflies and frogs (and a few other species) are creatures of the devil. You see God only makes perfect creations. Any animal with a larval stage cannot have been created by him!

Northern Nonsense

And now for some good old British lunacy. I promised more madness from Manchester Museum. Here we go… Tenontosaurus was the centrepiece of the lottery funded new display a few years ago. It cost $100,000 and looked pretty impressive in its £5000 reinforced glass case. It was 70% complete which is pretty good for dinosaurs and mounted in a lifelike pose with the missing bones made up with plaster, an old and accepted practice. Various interesting fossils found near the skeleton, coprolites, vegetation etc were also on display to give a picture of the dinosaur’s habits and habitat. Only about 30 specimens of this Montana dinosaur have been found. The holotype is at the American museum of natural history in New York but this specimen is more complete. Dr Phil Manning, television palaeontologist and temporary curator at the museum likes his dinosaurs raw and without make up so he had all the glue and plaster bones removed (at great cost) and threw the metal framework away to bring the dinosaur back to the condition it would have been when taken out of the ground. It will never be displayed again and Dr Manning no longer works for the museum.

Also in 1960 curator Fred Broadhurst collected an almost complete “12-foot Plesiosaur from Whitby. It was reprepared in 1998 with lottery money with special attention given to its skull, brain case and stomach contents. It is about to be described as a holotype of a new species…but it is being removed from public display at the museum to make way for a children’s soft play beanbag area.

Also, Michael Eager was the keeper of geology from 1945-1987. His life’s work was a collection of 20,000 non-marine bivalves, many of which were the type specimens from local coalmines that have since closed down. The collection is unique and unrepeatable. The museum which has plenty of (lottery funded) storage – including the Eager room (named after the curator) but bivalves are not popular so the museum have been trying to dump the collection. As well as offering it to any British museum (the National History Museum has already refused it) they suggested giving it away piece by piece to school children!


There is a well-known rock face near Fort Peck, Montana, half of which is public land, half private. There is a T-Rex skull weathering out of the face, mostly on public land. It is not very easy to get at safely, but how many T-Rex skulls are? It is illegal for private individuals to collect vertebrate fossils on public land and so far no official body has asked permission to collect it. Collectors say it has been left as bait to entrap enterprising amateurs. Within 5-10 years nature will have had its way and the skull will have weathered out in little pieces.

You Will Enjoy

According to its brochure the first Idar-Oberstein Mineral Show will carry out 'offensive public relations' for its marketing strategy. Prehaps this is not a translation error.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Fossil News

The largest dinosaur footprints ever discovered in Europe were found by a team from Basel National History Museum information in Ela Nature Reserve, Switzerland. They were alerted by private fossil collectors who were checking out the area which had recently been cleared of trees.
The prints were 15 inches across from the upper Triassic period Circa 210 million years and were made by an animal that must have been about 20 foot long.

Three 7 foot long burrows found in 106 million year old rocks in Victoria Australia support the theory that dinosaurs living in cold climates burrowed underground to stay warm. The only other dinosaur burrow was found 4 years ago in 95 million year old rocks in Montana USA. Burrows have also been found that were used by mammal like reptiles that survived the permian extinction 240 million years ago.

One of the building blocks of life, an amino acid essential to the creation of proteins found in the cellstructors of living organisms has been discovered in dust and gas collected from the tail of a comet.

The Cove Rotana Resort in Ras Al Khaimal United Arab Emirates is using a picture of Durdle Door on Dorsets Jurasic Coast to advertise itself.

Google Earth on coordinate’s latitude 57’ 12’52. 13’ North Longitude 4’ 34’ 16’ West shows a block under the surface of Loch Ness not unlike a 65 foot tadpole or plesiosaur!

More Manchester Museum madness……

Before taking early retirement (which he will tell you that he was definitely not forced to take) director Tristan Besterman (His real name, honest) proved wrong malicious rumours that having put the entire collection into storage when the building was being renovated he ran out of funds to bring the collections out of storage again. It is however true that a custom built display case, costing around £8000 to house a very expensive quartz group was thrown away by mistake. The Quartz group was put on open display anyway, until too many pieces of it found there way into visitors pockets. It is not on display anymore.

A professional museum hermit was employed for a while he sat in the top of a tower and thought lofty thoughts, his previous job involved going without food for ten days in a wooden box. I am not making this up.

Best of all, Archaeologist Assistant Director Piortr Bienkowski is a Pagan and in his spare time chairman of HAD (Humans After Death) such are his beliefs his efforts to cover up the mummy's on display were only thwarted by a popular outcry. He has been trying to have the fossil collection re-patriated and reburied in the exact places that the fossils were dug up in the first place. He has equally strange views on the living creatures, the Vivarium containing small Reptiles, Fish and Snakes is to popular for him to close down as he would like, So he is starving it of funds and gradually killing off all the creatures through neglect.

There will be more Manchester Museum Madness next issue, marvels of mess, mayhem mean misinformation and murky misanthropy.

Since writing this piece Piortr has found another job, like Mr Besterman he denies any rumours that he was asked to leave.

The commonly held belief that Pterosaurs were tree top gliders has been thrown into doubt by a researcher who has constructed a new model for winged flight based on pterosaurs pivoting on the ground on their wings
‘elbows’ and then hurling themselves into the air. He has come to this conclusion after studying the construction of their wing bones which seem too heavy and strong just for gliding.

Amid a blaze of publicity, ‘The Holy Grail’ ‘a Rosetta Stone‘ Deal in Hamburg led scientist to 8th wonder of the World, a partially complete early primate fossil was revealed to the world at the America Museum of Natural History last May. A book and a documentary narrated by David Attenborough was timed to coincide with the event.

The fossil was actually found in 1983 at a disused quarry at Messel near Darmstadt Germany. Although the site is now protected at that time plans were afoot to turn it into a rubbish dump. It had yielded an amazing array of exquisitely preserved fossils, including more than 60 pygmy horses, 8 species of crocodile, more that 1000 bats, insects with colour markings preserved on their wings and birds and fish a plenty.
Two years ago the counterpart to the fossil was sold to Thermopolis Dinosaur Museum Wyoming, but it did not have the fine detail of its counterpart and was not recognised as a significant fossil (they do have an archaeopteryx as well though!).
When the private collector who owned the piece decided to sell it, his fellow collector, who just happened to be a fossil dealer as well, had a discreet word with Dr Jørn Hurum of Oslos Natural History Museum at the Hamburg Fossil and Mineral show. More discreet words followed that evening in a local bar, a 20 minute sighting of the fossil and £1,000,000 pledge to buy the fossil.

Forged Messel fossils are not uncommon but xray analysis confirmed the genuineness of this trail.

Most hominid fossils are incomplete. Sometimes theories are based on a single tooth or jaw fragment. Lucy the most significant humid fossil so far found (in Ethiopia) is 40% complete. Ida named after Hurum’s
6 year old young daughter, is 95% complete.
Its real name is Darwinius Masillae in honour of Charles Darwin’s 200th anniversary and an old name for Messel.
She is reckoned to have been 6 – 9 months old at the time of her death 47 million years ago and probably 60% of her adult weight of one Kilogram. She possesses milk teeth, unerrupted adult teeth, finger nails rather than claws, opposite thumbs and big toes and a particular shaped ankle bone and that makes her out as a link to apes, monkeys and humans, not an early lemur. She does not have a grooming claw on her second finger like lemurs either.
Her sex has been determined by the lack of penis bone. Her left wrist shows evidence of a partially healed fracture. Impressions of fur and remains of her last meal seeds and leaves are also preserved, large eye sockets suggest she was nocturnal.
Some academics hold that Ida belongs to the family tree of lemurs and bush babies as she lacks the bony wall at the back of the eye socket. If so her relevance in tracing back our evolution is limited.
Dr Hurum chose to publish his findings on Plos One an open access on line journal that doesn’t charge people to read its papers. He commented ‘’I am paid by the taxpayers of Norway to do this research. I’m not paid by Nature or Science (the most prestigious journals in this field) and still they charge money for other people to read my scientific results’’

One hominid tooth found in the Ethiopian dessert in 1992 sparked off a two year search and a 15 year research project involving 47 researchers resulting in the appearance of 11 papers in one edition of the journal Science. A partial skeleton with elements of skull, pelvis, hands and feet represent the oldest human ancestor ever found.

Ardi short for Ardipithecus ramidus, was a hairy female, 4 foot tall with long arms for climbing trees, but able to walk on two legs.
She lived 4.4 million years ago and sheds light on a critical period of evolution after our ancestors split from chimpanzees. She may be a direct ancestor of 3.2 million year old lucy. Both show a potential human ancestor that could walk upright despite having a small brain.
Her teeth point to a diet of figs other fruit, leaves and small mammals and were quite small suggesting that unlike chimpanzees baboons and gorillas male ardipithecus did not bare their teeth in aggressive displays over female but lived in more harmonious social groups.

Eye surgeon Henry Kriegstein donated a new species of predatory dinosaur from Chinese Mongolia that he bought on the open market to the University of Chicago and won the honour of choosing its name Raptorex Kriegstein is named In honour of his parents, both Holocaust survivors.
‘’This fossil has survived for 125 million years My parents came close to not surviving. This name symbolically represents that they have survived despite the odds’’
This fossil will go to a collection in Inner Mongolia but Dr Kriegstein has a life size cast (8 foot long) to keep in his Massachusetts home.

The latest BBC Natural History unit blockbuster series Life was planned as a celebration of Einstein to honour the 200th anniversary of Darwin but co producers, American Discovery channel feared the backlash from its sizeable creationist lobby and insisted on changing this central theme.

One of the most complete T rex skeletons ever found failed to reach its reserve at an auction in Las Vegas recently. Bidding stopped at $3.5 million.
Despite its widespread fame and popularity less than 20 specimens of T rex are known.
An almost complete mounted Edmontosaurus skeleton sold for $450 000 a mother and offspring pair of small ceratopsian dinosaurs for $440 000, a whole Siberian mammoth for $97 000, a complete mounted 35 million year old cat for $61 000 and some outrageously opalescent Canadian ammonites for over $30 000 each.
The worlds largest known set of shark jaws from the fossil giant shark Carcharocles, the largest carnivorous fish ever to have existed (up to 20 metres long) with over 300 5”+ nasty sharp teeth failed to reach it’s reserve, estimate $900 - - $1.2 million.

The great and the good of British palaeontology (myself included) gathered in the dozy little Somerset town of Street last July to drink gossip, talk ichthyosaurus and celebrate the retirement of Sir Arthur Cruickshank Cambridge university, Leicester museum and visiting professor in far flung places like South Africa and New Zealand.
150 years ago the quarries around Street produced as many ichthyosaur and plesiosaurs as Lyme Regis.
An ichthyosaur is part of the towns coat of arms and a cast of a Pterosaur is to be seen in the wall of the public library.
An impressive collection can sometimes be seen by appointment on application to Clarkes Shoe Museum.
The undisputed world expert on ichthyosaurs Professor Ryosuke Motani was flown over from California to open proceedings, local finds including Lyme specimens collected by professional collector Chris Moore were on display and a positive note of cooperation between academic and commercial communities was sounded. ‘we want you out there finding more material for us to study’ was the (albeit not unanimous) keynote.

If the vertebrate fossil movers and shakers of the country descended on Street, those of the whole world invaded Bristol 2 months later for the first joint meeting of the UK and American vertebrate palaeontology association.
1400 delegates from all over the world, and a few gatecrashers like myself attended the 3 days of talks.
Topics covered dinosaurs, earlier primitive reptiles, marine reptiles, flying reptiles, birds, eggs, tracks, diet, feathers, --- from Oklahoma Texas, Utah, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana in the USA. Also Canada, China, Brazil,
Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia, India, South Africa, Niger, Morocco, Madagascar, Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan and Spitsbergen, got a look-in European countries included the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
David Attenborough, a keen fossil collector since childhood, gave the welcome presentation.
The highest profile news was the announcement by a Chinese delegate of the earliest yet discovered feathered dinosaur, from China of course!
English professional collectors were invited to display significant finds but this invitation was rudely withdrawn with no explanation when the American organisers got to hear of the arrangement. There are almost as many academics opposed to commercial collectors in the states as there are creationists.
Scottish commercial collector and living legend Stan Wood, being a member of the Vertebrate PalSoc.(as well as dealer) was able to bypass the controversy and displayed his latest undescribed, new to science, animal from the Scottish carboniferous along with photos of himself collecting it in the middle of fast flowing stream.