U.S. returns dinosaur fossils to Mongolia - KMSP-TV

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>>

  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:16:46 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
  • 'Resting comfortably'

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:22:56 GMT
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
  • Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:12:00 GMT
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

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