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Olenus
Byron , It's the same old story blame the fossil dealers. If anything goes wrong it's Stone them !

Lee.
The Ace of Spades,,,







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fossils-uk
anyone seen in the news about the Ichthyosaur found in skye in the news today? found by amateur collectors and brought "to  light" and donated to a museum in scotland. Another example of good collaboration. 
cheers
byron 
fossils-uk, whitby
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Wave

This has to be said. The bottom line is whatever your reasons, as long as legit, everyone, yes that's everyone, even professionals no matter what discipline you are in, gets something out of this. Professionals and amateurs alike, get what they want out of this subject, and neither should critisise the other! It's all fair play. Stop whining and complaining, just get on with what you do best and be respectful and fair to others. I have donated specimens and given up a lot of my free time for others. If matters were to continue getting worse between academics and collectors in this country, as they seem to be, I will be forced to change my opinion, and this is not a good thing, because I know many others will follow.
 
Cheers.
It's all in the hunt... share the passion
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jim211
Indeed.   All i want to do is keep searching and (hopefully with more of that luck) keep finding great fossils which always give me a buzz, from partial skulls down to the rolled bits of dinosaur, it all gives me that buzz on first seeing them ! 
Viva Hastings Beds
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Wave

Olenus: those who critisise fossil dealers must surely realise that not only are they being disrespectful to present day fossil dealers, they are also disrespecting the memory of Mary Anning and her family and all historical past responsible commercial collectors who have made a worthy contribution to this subject!
 
Cheers.
It's all in the hunt... share the passion
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Wave

Goodluck with your efforts jim. You will always get that thrill of discovery, Being privileged to be the first to cast eyes on that wonderful find for the first time is such a buzz, it will never leave you. The thrill of the hunt, it gets in your blood and it stays there!
 
Cheers.
It's all in the hunt... share the passion
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sd41
Ahhhhh yes, the thrill of the hunt! Dare I say that it's better than... well you know what I mean

Hope my hubby doesn't read this post!!!!!! 

Keep on hunting!


Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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acutipuerilis


Got to say that I agree with the general sentiment here entirely. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that palaeontology is going to depend critically on amateurs in future, as it becomes harder and harder for academics to get funding for speculative fieldwork. The primary field-based research is very far from having been done, no matter what some academics might tell you.

On the commercial aspect, it sometimes is rather more murky. If everyone plays by the same rules - applying openly for formal permission to collect at SSSIs, for example, and collecting responsibly with regard to limited rock volume but retaining the total diversity rather than just saleable fossils - then all should work well. However, I have seen the results of illegal commercial collecting, which has in some cases virtually destroyed a sensitive protected site in the rush to extract every trilobite they could. It's not that commercial palaeontology is necessarily bad, but rather that when you get a bad apple they do a lot more damage than a hobbyist or academic will.

http://oldasthehills.proboards.com/index.cgi (For when you can't get enough trilobites, sponges, and squidgy blobs...)
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jim211
I think this thread has sparked what is at the crux of paleontology in this country.  For those who collect with care (ie not blowing up cliffs and chomping out gouges of coast and in-situ skeletons) then nobody could or should argue about whatever they may come across and whatever they choose to do with their discovery. There has been an air of self righteousness in one or two comments here, unfortunately.
If any fossil hunter chooses to donate any important find, then that will surely please the likes of paleontologists who are in the ''we have it given or we ignore it'' category. If the finders of fossils choose to sell, then there is some kind of a ''principled'' obstacle created by some paleontologists....but funds could be raised with any motivation and a desire to secure all the data possible and have the books truly comprehensive and not selective.  


Viva Hastings Beds
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acutipuerilis


I'd just add to this that money is not as easy to come by as you might think. For something truly exceptional and of obvious public appeal (a new dinosaur, for example), then yes, funding is likely to be obtainable. If it's a selection of new sponges, or if funding has to be found more often... then, no, it just won't happen. Museums are really under the cosh financially, so please do remember that. There are often also significant restrictions on what a museum is allowed to take; for example, in most museums there is a fixed requirement of having written permission to collect from the landowner and any relevant authorities... and a lot of landowners are happy giving verbal permission, but don't want to get involved with paperwork. With amateurs donating a few specimens, this is likely to be possible to work out; with commercial collectors, sometimes it isn't. If the collector doesn't have permission, then of course this is the right outcome: illegal collecting shouldn't be encouraged by paying for it.


 Basically, it's never quite as straightforward as it seems, and I worry that if there is an expectation by amateurs to be paid then there will be a lot of disappointment all round. On the other hand, it is always worth asking, especially if you have put in a lot of prep work (that counts as services rather than purchasing of specimens, and is therefore covered by different legislation). I've been a museum curator, an academic and am now an 'amateur' researcher, so I've seen most of the points of view...


 

http://oldasthehills.proboards.com/index.cgi (For when you can't get enough trilobites, sponges, and squidgy blobs...)
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sd41
sd41 wrote:
Firstly I'm responding to a section of the article uploaded by dinogary.

 It stated that fossil collecting is not the only threat to fossil sites. The four principle categories of threat include: burial, quarrying, misguided conservation and lastly collecting. ( Black 1988, Taylor 1988).
Question being: How many on this forum actively recycle their rubbish EVERYDAY to help reduce the risk of in-filling quarries as part of a waste-disposal strategy? As well as a means to preserve our planet for the future, it can also do the same for our past. (Sorry, I had to add this... I'm a big activist for recycling, and helping our beautiful planet)

Also, I would like to ask, how many would be willing to bequeath their significant finds to museums? Are they better of there? I would personally hate the idea that my prized collection would end up in a dark and seldom opened museum drawer that is rarely inspected and enjoyed. Here is where I agree with PaleoStu' comment. "The issue here is access."

You may or may not agree with me, but I personally feel that any find or purchase should come with a clause, where finds are registered and access for research is automatically granted if the specimen is deemed significant.  ACCESS is the key here, to prevent restrictions being enforced. 

Here I agree with Wave' comment. If amateur paleontologists were to be stopped than the chances are that specimens that have not been collected (especially ex-situ) would be weather damaged and lost forever anyway. That benefits no-one! 
I think this forum is great, as I'm sure most of us who discover, post their finds, with pictures and location details etc, ensuring that information is not lost. If uncertain of significance, we all have the duty to seek clarification from a professional source. If in doubt, post images on the forum and seek advice. I would grant any researcher access to my collection. After all it is not really mine, I just found it... but it belongs to us all, there should be no restrictions on access.

So, yes, I am in agreement that fossil collecting should be for everyone, otherwise mother nature would beat us to them anyway.
sd41
--------------------
I would like to clarify what I mean by ACCESS to all finds... I mean 'access' to study and document NOT to take a specimen away from me! I may have been the one fortunate enough to have found a piece and I do truly feel that all those interested should be able to see it if wished  (it is a gift from mother nature after all, not really mine) but I certainly wouldn't give them up!!!!!! They are far too precious to me. Plus I know that within my keeping they are well looked after and appreciated. 
If someone wishes to sell a find, it's up to them, so long that they have collected responsibly/legally, and if a piece is significant, have given others the opportunity to study prior to selling.... End of.
sd41 

Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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sd41
Firstly I'm responding to a section of the article uploaded by dinogary.

 It stated that fossil collecting is not the only threat to fossil sites. The four principle categories of threat include: burial, quarrying, misguided conservation and lastly collecting. ( Black 1988, Taylor 1988).
Question being: How many on this forum actively recycle their rubbish EVERYDAY to help reduce the risk of in-filling quarries as part of a waste-disposal strategy? As well as a means to preserve our planet for the future, it can also do the same for our past. (Sorry, I had to add this... I'm a big activist for recycling, and helping our beautiful planet)

Also, I would like to ask, how many would be willing to bequeath their significant finds to museums? Are they better of there? I would personally hate the idea that my prized collection would end up in a dark and seldom opened museum drawer that is rarely inspected and enjoyed. Here is where I agree with PaleoStu' comment. "The issue here is access."

You may or may not agree with me, but I personally feel that any find or purchase should come with a clause, where finds are registered and access for research is automatically granted if the specimen is deemed significant.  ACCESS is the key here, to prevent restrictions being enforced. 

Here I agree with Wave' comment. If amateur paleontologists were to be stopped than the chances are that specimens that have not been collected (especially ex-situ) would be weather damaged and lost forever anyway. That benefits no-one! 
I think this forum is great, as I'm sure most of us who discover, post their finds, with pictures and location details etc, ensuring that information is not lost. If uncertain of significance, we all have the duty to seek clarification from a professional source. If in doubt, post images on the forum and seek advice. I would grant any researcher access to my collection. After all it is not really mine, I just found it... but it belongs to us all, there should be no restrictions on access.

So, yes, I am in agreement that fossil collecting should be for everyone, otherwise mother nature would beat us to them anyway.
sd41
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ADDITIONAL COMMENT:

I would like to clarify what I mean by ACCESS to all finds... I mean 'access' to study and document NOT to take a specimen away from me! I may have been the one fortunate enough to have found a piece and I do truly feel that all those interested should be able to see it if wished  (it is a gift from mother nature after all, not really mine) but I certainly wouldn't give them up!!!!!! They are far too precious to me. Plus I know that within my keeping they are well looked after and appreciated. 
If someone wishes to sell a find, it's up to them, so long that they have collected responsibly/legally, and if a piece is significant, have given others the opportunity to study prior to selling.... End of.
sd41 
Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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mr ammonites
Very interesting and I would agree with that.
Page 19 of yesterdays Times was worth a look at with points mentioned in this discussion. 
Ammonite!
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steven
What a truly interesting thread this one is. I have one point which I often think about.. sd41 states "Plus I know that within my keeping they are well looked after and appreciated"
 

which is a valid and true comment.I no its an emotive point but what happents to our carefully curated collections when we leave this mortal coil? I`d rather parts of my collection are bequethed to my local museum than end up lost forever by way of the bin.

 

As collectors we understand the scientific value of our specimens,but with the best will in the world do our relatives,I think most see them as old stones and I personaly know of an example of a local collector,whom had donated many important specimens,representive of the local Red Chalk Formation to the NHM. Here they may be in storage,but they are stored for perpituity, curated and cataloged.His personal collection was thrown in the rubbish upon his death by his housekeeper and lost forever.

 

Can we all hand on heart say whilst our collections our ours now,I found them,they are mine,what happens to them when are no longer here? Its something to consider..

 

Steve
Steve
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sd41
Yes, that is something to think about... where they should go after us?

Ta da!!!!  Establish our own museum, in the memory of forum members.

After our passing perhaps, all of us on this forum should donate them to, The (DFFMM) 'Discuss Fossils' Forum members Museum. I reckon with the marvelous collections among us all, it would rival many others... may be even the NHM. 

sd41
Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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WestcoastRock
Good idea I agree with you 100%

regards

Alan
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plagistoma

I'm taking mine with me,that should confuse them if they dig me up in 10,000 years time.
 
steve
It's always great to "shoot" your own
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michele_1937
sd41    OK OK OK
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sd41
plagistoma:   Yesssssss, nice one, like it! 

Believe it or not, I have actually joked to my hubby that if I go before him, I want my theropod footprint to be cremated with me... that way we will be together forever!... Slightly possessive?
sd41
Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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Wave
sd41 wrote:
Yes, that is something to think about... where they should go after us?

Ta da!!!!  Establish our own museum, in the memory of forum members.

After our passing perhaps, all of us on this forum should donate them to, The (DFFMM) 'Discuss Fossils' Forum members Museum. I reckon with the marvelous collections among us all, it would rival many others... may be even the NHM. 

sd41

Great idea!  It would be a cool place for people to visit, and there would be everything on display, that's what I love about your idea...great stuff!  
It's all in the hunt... share the passion
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sd41
Food for thought Wave??????
Fossil hunting...What a rush! :)
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Terry
I second the museum idea!
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acutipuerilis


There are such things as crowd-sourcing now, of course... but it would need staff, both on front desk and in curation and maintenance, so that needs to be borne in mind. I'm not sure how the planning laws would work on creating a museum, but in the current climate it might be quite well-supported by the local councils. There are places like Mid Wales and Northern England where opportunities for property might arise reasonably cheaply...

Not saying there aren't difficulties here, but I can also see that there might be options to make it work. If anyone wants to follow this up and would like input from an ex-curator on what would be needed to make a viable museum, get in touch.

Joe

http://oldasthehills.proboards.com/index.cgi (For when you can't get enough trilobites, sponges, and squidgy blobs...)
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