News of the WeekPaleontology

China Clamps Down on Illegal Fossil Trading

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Science  17 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5998, pp. 1453
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1453-a

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China's powerful State Council last week issued a regulation designed to rein in rampant pillaging of the country's magnificent fossil beds, which have yielded the first feathered dinosaurs and other blockbuster finds. The new rules will change the way excavation permits are issued and impose hefty fines for infractions. Paleontologists are generally pleased, but they will pay a price for the stepped-up protection: potential loss of sovereignty over important fossils they unearth.