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Hi everyone. I just found this forum and am hoping to get some useful information. I have been doing a lot of research, and have been for most of my life on Fossils, stones and bones. I'll be attending college soon to study Paleontology and geology. It's been a dream of mine since I was very young. I do have some questions though, as I was not able to find answers.

As far as collecting vertebrates, all the research I have done, I have concluded that I cannot even keep vertebrate fossils, I must turn them over to the public museums etc. I do see people buying/selling bones, and teeth and am not sure how they're doing it? I know the laws on collecting invertebrate specimens but can't figure out how one becomes a fossil dealer or one who is able to sell bones on Ebay.

Can anyone give me some advice/information? I'm at a loss.

I do have some bone fragments and teeth, that I'd bought from local stone shops. I don't have a clue on how they're able to sell them, but I am interested in this. Again, I cannot find any information whatsoever on how people become fossil dealers or even sell them.

Where does one start when looking for vertebrates?

Thank you all in advance!

Edited by OscuroLupo
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I don't know about the regulations in Arizona, but vertebrate fossils are readily found and legally kept in other parts of the country. NJ has no ban on it as far as I can tell. In Florida, sharks teeth are legal and can be found by the dozens, though a cheap, easily obtained permit is required to keep any other vertebrate finds.

Edited by Kman100
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In the U.S., it is illegal to collect vertebrate fossils from BLM and most other Federal lands. You may collect and keep (or sell, or pulverize) any fossil from privately owned land (yours, or, with permission someone else's). It is perfectly legal to possess legally acquired fossils of any kind.

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As for selling them, the Tucson Show is one of the worlds largest venues for fossil sales.

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Mediospirifer

The law in New York is that collecting any rock, fossil or otherwise, from state-owned land (managed by the DEC) without a permit is illegal. There is no specific permit application process on the DEC website, and I have been reliably informed that they are only issued for research and educational purposes, to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Rocks and fossils collected from privately-owned lands are legal to resell.

I'll add that New York isn't known for vertebrate fossils. We have more brachiopods and trilobites, among other Devonian fauna.

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Mediospirifer

I will point out, if you're looking at buying vertebrate fossils online, that you need to be careful of international purchases. There have been a few posts of the Forum about Mongolia changing their laws to restrict all fossil exports, and at least one high-profile piece from there has been taken into custody and returned. If you're thinking of buying something from overseas, check up on the relevant import/export laws first.

Welcome to the Forum, and have fun!

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