JAY LILLEGRAVEN

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5:31 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Fossils on private lands find collectors and critics

JP Cavigelli looks for small fossils on a private ranch, near Lusk.
Irina Zhorov

Wyoming was once wet, balmy, and full of creatures like dinosaurs. Today, their fossils are slowly weathering out of the ground. If the bones happen to be on public land, researchers are granted permits to dig for them and the fossils have to end up in a public repository. But on private land, anyone can dig and they can do whatever they want with the specimens. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that commercial, or independent collectors, are sometimes eyed warily.

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