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TECHNIQUES and EXAMPLES of Fake Pterosaur / Bird Fossils

Scientists regard the most notorious of fake fossils to be CHINESE PTEROSAUR and CHINESE BIRD FOSSILS.  Despite some outrageously high price tags, it is this kind of fossil where you can count on being MOSTLY OR COMPLETELY FAKE - especially if in a "spread-eagle" pose.  Nevertheless, these fossils are consistently snatched up by trusting, gullible buyers, many believing these fossils to be genuine simply based on the magnitude of the price alone, or so it seems. 

Techniques Used

The techniques utilized in creating PTEROSAUR and BIRD FOSSILS are identical and equally apply to both fossil types.  Predominantly, these two methods are employed together:

1) Carving, sculpting, painting portions of the fossil that never were there INCLUDING SOFT TISSUE AND FEATHER IMPRESSIONS!!!

2) Utilizing modern bird (or other type) bones arranged and embedded on a matrix slab.

The most obvious indicator of a Chinese bird or pterosaur fossil fraud is the "too good to be true" pose with the wings and legs held out from the body.  GENUINE bird and pterosaur fossils are amongst the rarest since the bones are hollow and extremely fragile.  Pterosaurs and birds were/are frail and delicate animals.  When subjected to the forces of burial, just what kind of odds do you think such a creature would be preserved in such a perfect pose?  A little COMMON SENSE is all that is needed to rule out that so many of these "picture-perfect" BIRD and PTEROSAUR fossils from China are fake based on the pose alone!  In reality, most of these creatures are badly twisted when buried and complete, articulated fossils of these two types of creatures are EXTREMELY RARE.

As mentioned on the previous page, a February 2000 issue of "New Scientist" featured an article focused on Chinese fossil fakery (New Scientist, "F is for fake," 19 February 2000).  The underlying message is that the sophistication of the fakery being done by the Chinese is good enough to fool scientific professionals.  Dr. Luis Chiappe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County recalls one specimen that aroused his suspicions. "I wasn't sure what was wrong with it but measurements showed that one leg was longer than the other."  Only when he started preparing it did he find there was mortar that had glued two slabs together. "On the surface you really couldn't see that," says Chiappe.   Internationally famous paleontologist Dr. Larry Martin of the University of Kansas offers the most sobering warning to all fossil collectors and prospective buyers of Chinese fossils.  Dr. Martin stated "at the moment, I don't trust any of these specimens until I see the X rays".

If you purchased a CHINESE PTEROSAUR FOSSIL or CHINESE BIRD FOSSIL, invest the small amount of money to get it X-rayed!  Fake portions that are carved and painted in the rock will not show up as bone.  Composited and disguised parts from other animals will show up in the X-ray negative as cracks where they do not appear on the surface of the fossil.  It is highly likely you will be greatly disappointed by the X-ray results!!! 

Some Examples of FAKES

One interesting trick to use when examining any suspect fossil is to copy the photo to your computer and increase the CONTRAST to the photo in a photo-editing software program.  This is where the tricks become more visible.  The following images are ALL CHINESE FAKES THAT WERE SOLD TO BUYERS AS 100% GENUINE!

Typical Artificial Pose

Head region is plastered and painted - completely fake.  "Bones" are all carved and painted or simply painted on the slab.  Slab is patched together from genuine matrix scraps from the actual site where these are found.


Entirely fake feet and claws carved in the rock and then stained.


Carved and stained "bones" in typical artificial pose.

Again, another FAKE Chinese bird fossil sold as genuine.  Does the pose look familiar???

Look closely at the "bone".  Smooth, anatomically accurate detail is lacking.  Symmetry completely off of identical left - right bone types.

Obvious carved lines cut sloppily in rock to look like bone and then stained.


23:50 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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