Archaeology Being Undermined By Fake Fossils Of Imaginary Animals

Could your favorite ancient animal species not be real? Via the Archaeology News Network:

Fake fossils are duping scientists and museums, a senior paleontologist has warned, after a scholar was forced to retract a controversial essay that stated the cheetah originated in China.

According to Li Chun, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, counterfeits are now widespread and have become a serious risk to genuine study projects. “I believe many scholars are victims of fake fossils,” he said, before estimating that more than 80 percent of marine reptile specimens on display in Chinese museums “have been altered or artificially combined to varying degrees”.

Li’s alert follows the debunking last month of an essay co-authored by Huang Ji, a Chinese scientist, and Danish researcher Per Christiansen in 2008 about an alleged new species of cheetah.

“Probably to make it appear more complete, thus enhancing its commercial value, Chinese fossil dealers makes numerous fake fossils. I had seen hundreds of ‘complete’ fossils actually glued by bone fragments, some fragments belonging to different animals,” he said.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    “Probably to make it appear more complete, thus enhancing its commercial value, Chinese fossil dealers makes numerous fake fossils. . . .”

    I refuse to believe that Capitalism doesn’t improve everything it touches.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    “Probably to make it appear more complete, thus enhancing its commercial value, Chinese fossil dealers makes numerous fake fossils. . . .”

    I refuse to believe that Capitalism doesn’t improve everything it touches.

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      having spent a lot of time in China
      I can say that exploiting a small profit niche is very Chinese
      not to say that capitalism doesn’t play into this
      but this activity is quintessential Chinese culture
      because it fits nicely with their other cultural trait
      copying and replication

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      having spent a lot of time in China
      I can say that exploiting a small profit niche is very Chinese
      not to say that capitalism doesn’t play into this
      but this activity is quintessential Chinese culture
      because it fits nicely with their other cultural trait
      copying and replication

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Even if there is a sort of a pre-existing inclination towards it deep within Chinese culture, it does seem to be a well-established developmental phase of all economies moving through industrial and post industrial stages of development.  There may be a quintessentially Chinese way of expressing it, but it’s a very universal human impulse.

        19th century English authors were forever bitching and moaning about Americans flouting their copyright laws by pirating and illegally republishing their work.  Certainly our N.E. cotton mills would never have been possibly were it not for smuggling and patent infringement against British mill owners.

  • Matt Staggs

    SIMPSONS DID IT! SIMPSONS DID IT! http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Angel_Skeleton

  • NarwhalNecropsy

    Link not working.

  • Infvocuernos

    So is that on top of all those fake fossils that god planted to test our faith?  Wasn’t the Piltdown Man a fake too?  seems like this has been going alittle too long for educated people to be falling for it still.  

    • Lifobryan

      Planted indeed. I would suspect Yaldabaoth as the perp in this case. (As attested by the seldom acknowledged bronze-age garden hand-spade found in an adjoining earthen jar at Nag Hammadi). 

      But far more importantly, the memorial to the Piltdown Man discovery resembles the contour of an uncircumcised dick:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man

    • Anarchy Pony

      I like how your god actively tries to send people to eternal suffering, while simultaneously claiming to love his “children”.

      • Infvocuernos

        Wait, hold your fire! That was sarcasm-note the lower case “g”.  Not a believer.  I forgot that sarcasm is invisible on the internet. 

  • Haystack

    I hope the people who are trafficking in these fake fossils get kicked off of eBay. 

  • Haystack

    I hope the people who are trafficking in these fake fossils get kicked off of eBay. 

  • TheM0nk

    Please fix your redirecting/linking abilities Disinfo; I mean you no offense, but this is the third time I click on an article’s link and get an error. Here’s the link to the original article: http://bit.ly/QlzBuc

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  • Lauramcclatchey

    Archaeologists don’t uncover fossils. Ask an archaeologist about t-rex and they probably couldn’t tell you shit. 

    • Calypso_1

      Archaeologists uncover fossils all the time.  All fossils are not dinosaurs.  In one aspect, archaeology is treated as a branch of anthropology.  There is a whole discipline of physical anthropology, Paleoanthropology, that studies the fossil evidence for human evolution.
       
       Don’t ask a paleontologist about P. boisei.  Don’t ask a paleomycologist about T.rex either. 
       
      If you’re really interested in coprolites I suggest you look into paleoparasitology (which by the way has some really interesting connections to paleoecology, which might in fact have connections to aforesaid paleomycology).
       
      By the way, don’t ever go to an Ontologist if you have cancer…then again – hair loss, existential angst, inevitable death…go ahead, its all the same in an indeterminate sort of way.

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