U.S. returns dinosaur fossils to Mongolia - FOX 35 News Orlando

U.S. returns dinosaur fossils to Mongolia

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Dinosaur jokes out of the mouth of a United States attorney celebrated the return of oviraptors, hadrosaurs, and one Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton to the good people of Mongolia.

"This is a historic event for the U.S. Attorney's Office, in addition to being a prehistoric event," said U.S Attorney Preet Bharara. "So, how did we get here? First there was a meteor."

Then 65 million years later in 2012, an attorney blocked the sale of this monster's skeleton for $1 million.

Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement then determined said fossils had left Mongolia and arrived in America illegally.

"The act of smuggling an eight-foot-tall, 24-foot-long Tyrannosaurus skeleton past U.S. Customs officers at any airport in the country," said Jim Hayes of ICE. "Of course that's not what happened."

The smuggler broke this predator's skeleton down into hundreds of shipments. So fully deconstructed was this beast that when the United States returned it to Mongolia the smuggler had to preside over its reassembly. It now stands on display in the country where it died 70 million years ago.

"Fossil looting is a huge problem worldwide," said paleontologist Dr. Mark Norell. He said that for nearly half of the 1,200 dinosaur species we've identified we have only one specimen. So, this batch headed back to Mongolia to help that nation open its first natural history museum qualifies as extremely rare.

One graveyard of the oviraptor: "It's one piece of rock with four or five beasts from the Cretacious period," Bharara said.

One oviraptor egg: "Should it hatch in the way that the eggs from Jurassic Park did, you should know that was not part of the plan," he said.

And plenty of Jurassic period jokes we thought went extinct back in the 1990s predated the signing over of these prehistoric remains to the new rulers of the part of the world where these beasts used to reign.

 

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • 'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:54:59 GMT
    New York City NewsNew York City News
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square.
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square.
  • 5th annual MMA World Expo at Javits Center

    5th annual MMA World Expo at Javits Center

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:30 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:30:06 GMT
    Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts gathered in the Big Apple for the 5th annual MMA World Expo. Only amateurs were allowed to compete at the event because New York continues to grapple with whether to make the sport legal in the state.
    Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts gathered in the Big Apple for the 5th annual MMA World Expo. Only amateurs were allowed to compete at the event because New York continues to grapple with whether to make the sport legal in the state.
  • Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:59 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices