Science, Science and Tech

Do-you-think-he-saw-us? Fossil dealer faces jail

A Florida fossils dealer has been caught by US authorities, trying to smuggle the bones of a Tyrannosaurus bataar into the country from Mongolia.

The bones are around 70 million years old and thought to be worth around $1m. The dealer, Eric Prokopi, had illegally imported them into the country via the UK in 2010 and sold them at auction. He also admitted illegally importing a Chinese flying dinosaur, two Oviraptors and a duckbilled creature known as a Saurolophus.

The Mongolian government is very protective of its fossils and it is illegal to remove any of them from the country without their consent.

The court heard that Prokopi, 38, was arrested in October as a lorry arrived at his home loaded with fossils. The police also found another, almost whole Tyrannosaurus skeleton in his home, along with the other two. All of which is thought to be worth over $200,000. He now faces a maximum of 17 years imprisonment when he is sentenced in April.

08/01/2013

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