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kirkjeremiah23

I know to be skeptical of anything coming from China/Asia, but what are your thoughts on this partial skull. 

Thanks in advance

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kirkjeremiah23

Screenshot_20200629-215553_eBay.jpg

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-Andy-

Looks like a typical example of a Machairodus to me. No major red flags. You can safely go for this

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DatFossilBoy

I agree

 

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Fossildude19

If it is coming from China to the US, make sure you have the proper provenance on this. 

Vertebrates are illegal to export from China, with some minor exceptions, as far as I know.  :( 

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aeon.rocks
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Vertebrates are illegal to export from China, with some minor exceptions, as far as I know.  :( 

 

 

Maybe they changed the laws ;)  In the last few months you could buy these skulls every 2 weeks. I was tempted by a complete one (w/ probable restorations) last week, to practice prep on it, but when I noticed I would need to sell my car, I changed my mind. :headscratch:...it's a partial, but you'll probably change your mind. 

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Troodon
6 hours ago, aeon.rocks said:

 

Maybe they changed the laws ;)  In the last few months you could buy these skulls every 2 weeks. I was tempted by a complete one (w/ probable restorations) last week, to practice prep on it, but when I noticed I would need to sell my car, I changed my mind. :headscratch:...it's a partial, but you'll probably change your mind. 

Doubt the law has changed.   My guess is that a number of skulls have been made available from "unknown" sources.  Just too many out there at one time to say they were imported prior to passing export laws.

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Fossildude19

Let's keep the discussion on the fossil, and not on prices. ;) 

Thanks 

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aeon.rocks
5 hours ago, Troodon said:

Doubt the law has changed.   My guess is that a number of skulls have been made available from "unknown" sources.  Just too many out there at one time to say they were imported prior to passing export laws.

 

I was kidding. ;)

 

 We're talking about ballooning and legal issues, not prices. :) 

 

Regarding legal issues - I agree, but you should be safe to buy (someone will; I can only hope it's the museums ballooning, if not then I guess collectors have more $$ to throw around on rocks as they claim, or maybe just those with an interest in china...). Anyway, these are not amateur collectors selling their 80s collections of eggs and bones, but pros/company with stock distributed worldwide, connections, employes, probably 2 or 3 different selling accounts on our favourite auction site - chinese seller/company, but the fossil ships from USA, if what's stated is true, means a storage there - also means easier to sell to USA market (Vertebrates are illegal to export from China, although these bone frags were pretty much common, but if in the USA already technically USA buyers don't have issues with importation papers - I'm guessing what you see on our favourite... from China is only the tip of the iceberg). Maybe old collections became available and the mess with the virus helps, maybe with the export from China too, donno.

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Crazyhen

As far as I know, there is no change in the fossil law of China.  Machairodus is a rather common fossil from China, in particular incomplete skull/teeth.  I am not sure if the ones available in the market are all from old collections.  Or perhaps they are more likely specimens somehow taken out of China and ended up in overseas market, and claimed to be an old collection for sale purpose.

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aeon.rocks

 I don't get it, what is it about these old composited, restored, partial broken bones, with a shady origin and relative common in the field, that make kids go crazy? 

Edited by Fossildude19
Removed I told you, this ballooned way up!

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Fossildude19
6 hours ago, aeon.rocks said:

 I don't get it, what is it about these old composited, restored, partial broken bones, with a shady origin and relative common in the field, that make kids go crazy? 

Lack of education about these fossils is a major reason. 

People are woefully unaware of the fact that takes and composites exist.

Also, people are drawn to the predator fossils. T-Rex, Megalodon, and Sabre-toothed cats are all sought after fossils. 

 

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aeon.rocks
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people are drawn to the predator fossils. 

T-Rex, Megalodon, and sabre  toothed cats are all sought after fossils. 

People are woefully unaware of the fact that takes and composites exist.

 

That part I can understand, but take meg teeth for example, they're common, scientifically not interesting, come in different shapes, sizes, colors, locations, and are found by the ton each year, not illegal, which is great for collectors. Although values of some teeth are crazy, that's always associated with preservation, size or rare locality and you could get one for your kid cheap. A great way to popularize paleontology and museums too. A low quality or partial or broken or restored megalodon tooth, even if from a "rare" locality, will not fetch a high value, but there are some large fantastic preserved teeth out there (and a few very enthusiastic collectors) that would.... All that I can understand... The enthusiasm of paying crazy sums aswell! I can also understand collecting dino-teeth... Or verts bones or whatever. But usually in the market, the price comes with preservation. And collectors who can't afford or don't want expensive well preserved/preped or complete and are satisfied with cheaper... That's what I would imagine to see these Chinese broken, damaged, composited and restored fossils selling to (because I can't imagine a totally destroyed Mixosaurus skull or Keicho would have any research value for museums or paleontologists or that an experienced collector would buy a dinosaur egg core, without shell, for the price of a decent one). But that's not who's buying, unless ammateur collectors who can't afford are wasting more as they say they can afford on these. I seriously doubt experienced collectors are buying these.

 

 Try selling a very rare broken and composited European megalodon tooth (Italian, Belgian, Maltese or Portugese tooth) for a 4 figure number and all meg collectors will laugh - try to sell it in 1$ auction. Or check out a broken composited and restored T-rex tooth in 1$ auction... If you prep a T-rex tooth with a truck, will it still sell for 2k? How about broken composited and restored common Moroccan dinosaur jaw in 1$ auction... We call those fake and they don't sell well. Then check out the auctions of destroyed Mixosaurus skulls from China and auctions of broken composited, restored sabre toothed cat skulls. I wonder where buyers of those are from and if these bones are turned to dust and some kind of drinking powders.

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aeon.rocks

 It's criminal. I'm not referring to the law issues, nor to the fact that fossils can be expensive, that's normal, there's a lot of time spent sometimes or work, it would be unreasonable to say that an ichtio preped by a professional in UK is too expensive if it sells for a 5 figure sum; there's a lot of hours and work in the excavation and prep... But if you're looking at these Mixosaurus skulls on our favourite auction site atm, described as "rare museum grade" etc, they seem to be preped in "1 hour"... I'm talking about the fact that collecting community used to condemn and expose Moroccan industry, when resellers were trying the same scam (and when they still do) with fakes and poor prepped Moroccan fossils with "fake descriptions".

 

It's the same logic, resellers buy lots of cheap poor quality fossils and fakes and flood the market.... There are thousands of eggs in China and if you are a Chinese collector, I'm sure you have nice eggs in your collection, becuase there are a lot of complete eggs in the market there as they sell easy. The bad ones are bought in lots and sold outside of China... They use explosives and many were found in road works, so it's not difficult to find cheap bad preserved eggs in China and then describe them as "rare museum grade".

 

So, it's not like liking Jackson Pollock's art or not. But sure, I agree, it's all subjective in this hobby indeed.

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RuMert

I think people are drawn not exactly to predators, but to strange and monstrous creatures (often predators indeed). Some sharks are dangerous - "imagine being attacked by a shark as big a a train! Imagine that sabercat bites you with that tooth! Imagine that enormous dragonfly lands on you!"

Preserved dragonflies are rare, while  shark teeth are abundant, so easier to buy and more advertised. Movies like Jaws and Jurassic park contributed to the popularity of sharks and dinosaurs like T-rex (basically all that people remember from the latter are the T-rex and incorrectly described velociraptors). Most customers know very little about fossils, so they choose to buy the ones that are popular and have a good display value - big teeth, iridescent ammos, weirdo trilobites (again, "imagine that huge bug crawls up your pants!"). Market laws apply afterwards - top teeth sell much higher than just a little bit but worse ones. Worn sabercat skulls still have a high display value (but more affordable compared to the good ones)

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aeon.rocks

I don't know. Yes, it's popularization... Diego, Manny, Sid, Jaws, Jurassic park... But I'm thinking the only reason these sell so high is because China limited export and people think they are rare or don't see all the apoxi and color, composition and filled matrix. Blank ban laws are not doing a favour to museums either (if China wouldn't ban export, these "bone frags" would be a lot cheaper also for museums to afford for study or not worth poaching just the head). So if I would have to guess, why a decent complete skull sells just about 2-3x more as a broken, restored and composited part of a skull (as in pics above), the reason is speculation to make profit and because restoration in vert-collecting is normal. I'm guessing... The difference in value between a good meg and a bad meg is easily 10x on the other hand. 

 

My guess, because 2k is not more affordable as 5k in terms of display and collectors buying these are probably not the type of collectors that say "we can't afford to spend 5k, tht's why we'll spend 2k only and we buy affordable fragments"...ballooned by resellers to make another composition/restored skull and make profit... Maybe I'm totally wrong and some unaware collector purchased this "Diego", but if you throw 2k around for a partial composited restored part of a skull for display, you can easily spend 2k more for a complete one.

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Fossildude19

Let us just leave this discussion here.  TOPIC LOCKED.

We do not wish to devolve this discussion into a pick on the sellers session.

 

Bottom line - do your homework. Know what you are buying. 

If you do your research, you have less of a chance of getting scammed. 

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