If you can use it to gut annoying children, I may just invest in it…
Convenient lack of scale in that photo; I hope whoever spends that wad of cash realizes that the claw is much smaller than the one in Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park has had such a lasting effect on our understanding of dinosaurs that when the well-respected OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) hosted a massive, traveling dinosaur exhibit they had incorrectly sized, Spielberg velociraptors appointed with tiny plaques indicating the discrepancy. Every other animatronic dinosaur was accurately life-sized - and awesome.
I found the Hollywood velociraptor to be shameful, particularly in a museum of SCIENCE! If you wanted a big one, just go with one of the real bigger ones, at least in the museum!
IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM.
Retail sales of fossils and antiquities are pretty bad for science. Also they are frequently smuggled and or otherwise illegal to buy, sell or export from the country where they were collected. This one is labeled as from Mongolia, and IIRC correctly most of the scandals lately with auction houses offering smuggled fossils involved Mongolia and China. I don’t think its legal to export any fossils from that part of the world. Both because of international laws and local ones. So unless this came out of a museum collection where it was legally sold to the public before ending up where-ever it is now, or was imported before those laws were put in place. This shit be smuggled. And legal entanglements likely await whoever buys or sells it publicly.
This would make the most metal back scratcher ever.
I’m always made extremely uncomfortable whenever I see something on sale (usually knives, but sometimes sheathes and scabbards, and even the odd carved tchotchke) that’s made out of, or incorporates mammoth ivory.
The first thing I think is: Why the hell isn’t that ivory in a museum? It’s not like mammoths are a renewable resource.
The second thing I think is: How grossly ostentatious while simultaneously tasteless can someone be? An in-tact mammoth tusk is beautiful, and emotionally impactful on its own. But people just aren’t satisfied admiring and studying the remains of a completely extinct species. No, they need to “improve” it and carve a knife handle out of an animal that in all likelihood will never walk the earth again. What else are you gonna buy? A lampshade made out of passenger pigeon feathers? Car upholstery made out of Tasmanian Tiger skins?
It just feels like an extreme “fuck you” to our biological heritage.
I believe when they use something like mammoth tusks for knife handles, they are using material from less than whole tusks. Whole tusks, like large petrified wood logs, are worth a lot. But damaged, smaller pieces are way more common and no museum wants to display just bits of broken tusks.
As for that site, there are a couple things I know the values of, the small trilobites and pyrite mine dollars on the “kids” page, and they are way over priced. 3-4x what you can find easily on ebay.
Its not even that. A lot of these things are a lot more common to find than gem stones. Think ancient arrowheads or trilobites. You can buy them by the bagful at many tourist shops. The bigger issue is two fold. First locking potentially important specimens into private collections where scientists can not study them, or in some cases out and out destroying them to create decorative objects. And second, but often more damaging, it removes these objects from their context. Often destroying the most valuable info they can provide. How deep down was it? When is it from? What was it found near? Where was it found? All this stuff and the minute bits and pieces or less valuable but more interesting associated artifacts are way, way, way more valuable to science than many of the individual pieces being sold. But antiquity looters, commercial fossil collectors, smugglers and auction houses often don’t bother to record, deliberately obscure, and quite often destroy all of that.
This little velociraptor toe might be totally meaningless to science. Maybe its not even a velociraptor toe. Maybe its poorly preserved, or maybe its a misidentified bit of a less commercially valuable species. Maybe its something incredibly important and its discovery could have revolutionized our ideas about dinosauts. W’ll probably never know, because noone credentialed will ever get a chance to look at it. And all the additional crap in the ground near where it was found, that might have told us something worth while? That’s likely entirely lost, or entirely destroyed. Even the sale of completely scientifically worthless specimens collected with good practices and carefully recorded origins just feeds a market that attracts more destructive looters and dishonest sellers.
Could that be the very claw with which Philosoraptor stroked his scaly chin in contemplation?
scaly feathered chin…
Add some turkey DNA to the mix to make it extra authentic…
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