Friday, January 23, 2009

Mexico Seizes Largest Batch of Fossils

From the Latin American Herald Tribune:

Mexican authorities revealed that they recovered 389 fossils, among which are the remains of dinosaurs and trilobites hundreds of millions of years old, that were illegally being offered for sale at an antiquities store in the northern state of Nuevo Leon.

The director of the Monterrey office of the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH), Hector Jaime Treviño, said that this is the most important confiscation to date in Mexico that includes unique fossils.

They emphasized that no museum in Mexico has more than 200 pieces of this kind and this collection contains almost double that number, a group that should be sufficient to mount two simultaneous exhibits.

Both officials said that the pieces were recovered in a operation in 2006 by the Attorney General's Office from a shop in the Monterrey suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia.

Among the pieces confiscated are remains of mammoths, camels, early horses, sharks, mastodons, various dinosaurs, ammonites (giant marine mollusks that lived about 100 million years ago) and trilobites.

INAH announced that it will send an exhibition of the trove of fossils around the country so that the public can view the items.