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Troodon

Specimens we need to be cautious about buying

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Mombo

I was fossil hunting this week with my mentor, and we were talking about how my local rock and mineral group is having their annual auction. The conversation eventually turned to purchasing fossils. Basically, I was told to simply not buy anything that comes from Morocco period. From what I gather there are so many fakes from that area that it's simply not even worth it to purchase anything from there.

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Troodon

I understand where you are coming from but there are a lot of beautiful teeth from that region , it's a shame to ignore them. Teeth are typically not faked although one needs to be careful of restoration and with large Spino teeth some are lengthened. I think experienced collectors on this forum can help diagnose potential issues so if you see something your interested in bounce it off the forum before you buy. The problems are mostly with matrix items.

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taj

the best way to buy safely moroccan stuff is to build a strong relationship with one of the guys over there , make some trips , collect yourself under his advice , and eventually listen to his insight when buying stuff. These guys are far ,far more advanced on the learning curve for forged fossils than you will ever be ...

There might be a second way , though , if you could check the fossils with a portable X-ray scan ..( does it exist ? :P ) .

That being said , there are really beauties , so as Troodon said , it would be a shame to ignore them .

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Runner64

Another one to add would be Suchomimus teeth. Many times the ones being sold online are either croc teeth from Niger or Spino teeth from Morocco.

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Troodon

Good add Runner64

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Susan from PA

the best way to buy safely moroccan stuff is to build a strong relationship with one of the guys over there , make some trips , collect yourself under his advice , and eventually listen to his insight when buying stuff. These guys are far ,far more advanced on the learning curve for forged fossils than you will ever be ...

There might be a second way , though , if you could check the fossils with a portable X-ray scan ..( does it exist ? :P ) .

That being said , there are really beauties , so as Troodon said , it would be a shame to ignore them .

Speaking of X-Ray scans, one way to check your fossils would be to become good friends with your dentist. In my office, we have "occlusal" films that are 2"x3" in length. You can use one, or put a few together in succession for larger fossils. Everything that is repaired, will show up as radiolucent and everything that is fossil shows radiopaque, or a bright white. You can see that the tip was broken off of my T.rex tooth and repaired. There is also a large repair near the root in the mesial surface.

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Troodon

Just came across another that is deserving

Kem Kem Repairs with Matrix

Excessive matrix on or around a tooth or a bone is usually an indication of a repair. The Moroccan fossils factory typically does use conventional putty/paint to repair fossils they simply use matrix and glue. Not only is it used to hide a defect like a hole or crack but to join two differerent specimens together to make it look like it's from the same animal. This is also done on teeth to patch two together to make one or to lengthen a Spinosaurid tooth.

Best recommendation is to stay away from material with matrix repairs. There is enough of the clean ones to go around, so be patient in buying.

Example of a matrix repairs on a Sawfish rostral spine. Tip was added, probably from another animal

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Lengthened Spinosaurus Tooth

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Edited by Troodon

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LordTrilobite

I feel that sometimes it can be worth getting the lesser looking specimens, even if they are a bit dubious. If the price is appropriate of course. Because if you know you're getting something that might have repairs or might have been tampered with for a low price. Really, you can only win if the specimen turns out better than you though. And if your original suspicions are correct and you don't have a very nice fossil. You've got more experience in identifying such fakes for a low price.

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Troodon

If you are an experienced collector with have a good view, some luck it's possible to have a win. However it's not an approach I would recommend to most.

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-Andy-

Great thread!

One more I'd add on is Archaeocete teeth from the Sahara Desert/Morocco/Dahkla, often sold as "Basilosaurus" teeth. Even some of the best experts I know make this mistake.

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There's really no way to definitively assign them to Basilosaurus; they are just as likely to be Zygorhiza, Dorudon or other large primitive whales. As quoted by Boesse in this thread > http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/60842-basilosaurus-teeth-how-do-we-tell-the-real-ones/

"Unlikely, given that these are all anterior teeth which are morphologically uninformative amongst archaeocetes. Gingerich and Zouhri (2015) just reported a middle Eocene archaeocete fauna from Morocco but found no Basilosaurus - instead a large basilosaurid, formerly considered a protocetid - Eocetus schweinfurthi - is known instead. The basilosaurid Platyosphys and possibly the protocetid Pappocetus are additional candidates for these teeth."

and

"Jackson Group, Mississippi-Alabama region in the US is pretty much the only place you can legally get Basilosaurus worldwide - other place is Egypt, but fossils and antiquities are very regulated and the Basilosaurus locality - Wadi al Hitan - is essentially like a national park of sorts (UNESCO World Heritage site)."

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Troodon

Thanks Runner64, my advice on folks wanting to purchase Moroccan Dinosaur material is to post first before you buy. Lots of sellers are not knowledgeable with this material.

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