The Dinosaur Dealers: international fossil smuggling

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Was also a 2 x 1 hour TV series screened around the world (SBS in Australia)

These days the sale of a dinosaur fossil for millions of dollars seems to take precedence over what scientific information may have been lost by its crude excavation, or even whether it will end up in a proper museum to be cared for and preserved for all time.

In October 1996 rare dinosaur footprints were stolen from an isolated beach near Broome in Western Australia. Not only was the scientific world horrified by the theft, but it was also a violation of an Aboriginal sacred site. In an attempt to recover the stolen footprints, Australian palaeontologist John Long teams up with specialist US fossil cop Sgt Steve Rogers. Their hunt for the missing fossils will take them around Australia and on to Europe and the United States.

Together they explore the secretive world of international fossil trade and visit the world's largest fossil trade show, where dinosaur dealers offer priceless scientific treasures for thousands of dollars. While undercover, Long and Rogers interview shonky dealers with criminal backgrounds, exposing the illegal world of fossil poaching and smuggling.

This is an adventure, with discovery and danger along the way-but when you deal with thieves and criminals, that's to be expected. ssils and their sites, and which enables some people to dig up and sell valuable fossils.

Along the way several criminal case histories are given to show how some countries take their fossil laws very seriously. The journey is an adventure, with discovery and danger along the way, but when you deal with thieves and criminals, that's expected.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherALLEN & UNWIN
Number of pages232
ISBN (Print)9781865088297
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • fossil crime
  • fossil legislation
  • fossil smuggling
  • dinosaurs


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