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-Andy- posted a topic in General Fossil DiscussionFirst up, the seller of this egg stated upfront this is a replica, so this isn't a scam warning. Here, we have an oviraptor egg that could fool even experienced collectors. It looks realistic because it's made out of real oviraptor eggshells. It's even covered with a coating of matrix. This is common practice; I've seen hadrosaur eggs are faked this way, with plaster mixed in to make the egg seem round and heavy. For reference, here's a real Oviraptor (Elongatoolithus sp.) that's been professionally prepped. Oviraptor eggs are commonly faked, so four ways to get a real one is: 1) Get a prepped one, preferably with matrix removed. The eggshell should be black 2) Avoid eggs that are perfect. Real eggs have cracks, and sometimes missing entire chunks of shells. 3) Get one without a matrix base. This isn't a sure-fire method, but I've noticed many fake oviraptor eggs have matrix bases, whereas I can't say the same of those free of matrix. Perhaps the fake eggs require a matrix base for support during their construction process. 4) Price. Again, this is arguable, but the real Oviraptor eggs I've seen often comes with price tag several times that of dubious ones. Having sent some eggs for prepping in the past, this is justified because the cost and time of prepping may cost more than the actual egg. Some scammers like to lure people in with bargain prices. Chinese eggs flood the market, and for many collectors, a dinosaur egg is a must-have. There are more fakes than there are real ones, so take extra care if you seek to buy one. As always, if you're unsure, post pictures here and we will try to help.
Note: I won't post any pictures here because even with censoring and cropping, the dealer/website is too easily identifiable. As if buying properly identified fossils couldn't get any harder, I was just directed to a extremely professional website that had whole sections on identification of fake fossils, how to identify between various Moroccan dinosaurs, even books on the topic! Every fossil sold there had its own page giving details of said fossil and why it was identified as that particular species etc. I did a search on the raptor section. Less than 10% were true dromaeosaurids. What grates me is that any uninformed buyer would look at the website and go, "They sure know their stuff. Wow! I even get a certificate of authenticity on my fossil!" Cue a buyer spending wasted money. There is great misinformation today in the fossil market, especially Moroccan ones. Sometimes, both diggers and dealers are mistaken about the ID of their fossils thanks to too much hearsay and information passed down from one another. To sum it up: 1) A professional-looking website doesn't guaranteed good IDs 2) Certificates mean nothing. Anyone can print one out 3) Even if a dealer/website tries to teach you how to identify a wrongly-IDed fossil, ensure they practice what they preach. This website pointed out correctly that for raptors, the inner serrations were larger than outer ones. The teeth he sold however, did not follow this rule. Most likely he copied it from somewhere 4) The dealer being a member of AAPS doesn't mean he knows what he's selling 5) "Everyone else is unreliable! Getting from us is the only way to make sure you know you are getting the correct fossil! We visit the dig sites ourselves, we vet every specimen." Sounds familiar? Some dealers resort to fear tactics to make themselves the only legit-looking source. 6) Raptors, dinosaur eggs, tyrannosaurids are some of the fossils that are harder to properly identify. When buying one, be extra cautious about the ID If in doubt, take some pics and show it to the forums. There are plenty of experts here, we are more than happy to help spot for fakes. As the saying goes, caveat emptor "let the buyer beware".