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KEICHOUSAUR fossils from China have been faked for decades.  So long in fact, that the 20+ year flood of fakes has stigmatized the appreciation and desire of genuine specimens amongst experienced collectors.  By sheer numbers sold, Keichousaur fossils remain the most popular fake Chinese fossil, despite this.  Each day, we observe fossil dealers pawning off very obvious, poor quality fakes as being GENUINE.  There also seems to be an endless supply of ignorant buyers thinking they are getting a REAL Triassic fossil skeleton for a couple hundred dollars.  It is rather easy to detect the fakes from the real specimens and the photos presented here should illustrate what to look for in a fake.  ALL photos shown here are of FAKE KEICHOUSAUR FOSSILS that were sold as 'genuine' by unscrupulous dealers.


The techniques are varied as to what the Chinese do to fabricate KEICHOUSAUR fossils.  Most employ a combination of these techniques which include:

1) Casting a reproduction from a mold of a genuine specimen.  The duplicates are then broken and repaired to appear genuine since genuine specimens are usually repaired.  Sometimes, the repairs are glued back together with white cement.  The repairs show as white lines running across the slab.  This is done to replicate the appearance of calcite veins running through the fake fossil - another trait of a genuine specimen.

2) Making a flexible latex mold of a genuine skeleton and filling with epoxy putty.  This filled mold is pressed over a genuine rock slab to recreate a 3D fossil skeleton.  The putty is then carved to look like a Keichousaur skeleton and stained black or gray to appear like genuine bone.  This displays as a three-dimensional skeleton like a genuine example.  Cuts and scrapes are made around the bones to look like preparation marks.  Under magnification, you can see the lack of bone detail and sometimes air bubbles or small voids.  The stain will be applied to look like a skeleton but anatomy will be slightly incorrect and the stain will be sometimes carelessly applied to flat regions or non-carved portions.

3)  Technique #2 is applied directly to a blank rock slab with no putty.  Carving is done AROUND the fake skeleton and the region AROUND the skeleton is lowered.  Dark stain is then applied to the bare rock.  The fake bones will lack crisp edge detail and the skeleton will have a "painted by hand" appearance rather than definitive, true bone detail and consistent anatomy amongst identical bones such as ribs.  Sometimes the carving is very smooth and lacks crisp detail (as just mentioned) and sometimes the carving is crude.  The crude type carving is usually rather sloppy and cuts and gashes are made in the rock to remotely resemble bones.  These hastily carved areas are stained but the stain does not follow the carved areas, necessarily.  Carved spinal columns will not be much more than a raised ridge or couple of simple ridges as seen in the below image.  There will not be accurate spaces and detail between each vertebra like a real spinal column has.  Ribs and other bones will have a "hand-painted" appearance instead of the minute detail of a real skeleton.  If you see features like these mentioned,  you DEFINITELY HAVE A FAKE!  See below images.

The next three images are all of the same FAKE fossil Keichousaur.  The dealer that sold this in an EBay auction stated that it was "100% Genuine with No Fabrication or Work Done".  Quite the contrary, the ENTIRE PIECE IS A 100% CARVED AND PAINTED FAKE.  The images he supplied were most damning despite his guarantee.  They are the best images we have seen that demonstrate the features of a CARVED FAKE KEICHOUSAUR!  The first image below is suspicious-looking enough with carved and faceted bone surfaces that lack normal bone surface curvature.  The Chinese fossil faker was too lazy to even carve the rest of the neck and head so this is just painted right on the flat rock and minimally scraped around.  The last two images were shot from shallow angles and superbly show nothing more than the work of a Chinese carver's knife and not a genuine fossil.  When viewed from these angles, the carved bone fakery becomes plainly visible and the lack of any detail where the rock stops and the bones start is the key feature of a FAKE!

23:56 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |




This example of Chinese fossil fakery powerfully demonstrates the skill and creativity of the Chinese fossil artists.  Featured here is a "RAT FOSSIL" that was made from a worthless FISH FOSSIL!  It was sold to some unfortunate bidder on EBay for $3,010.00.  The anatomy of the fish is very obvious yet to a trusting buyer, may go unnoticed.  In the following photos, we see an obvious fish skull with large round eye orbits (rat skulls do not have eye orbits).  We also observe in the second photo below, an obvious operculum (fish gill cover) as well as close-ups of the long spines of the fish vertebrae.  This FAKE RAT FOSSIL was created by using the head and partial body of a fish fossil.  The upper portion of the fish skeleton was plastered over to give the spine the appearance of having a rib cage of a mammal.  Arms and legs were then carved and painted on the rock.  Clever yet, worthless.

The photo above shows what a genuine rat skull looks like.  Compare this to the fish head above.  Rodent skulls do not possess eye orbits in the bone and certainly do not have gill covers!  The second photo below shows a "rib cage" that runs all the way to the hips which is not correct in a real rat skeleton which has the rib cage ending before half-way down the spine.  The long spines shown near the hips are simply a continuation of the fish vertebrae spines. 

23:54 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |

Chinese aflevering...



These were very popular for a while and still can be found fooling people after all these years.  There is no real fossil bone here, just an epoxy putty (like Bondo) creation attached and made on a genuine blank matrix rock slab.  In the photo below, you can see the sloppy work where some voids and bubbles exist amongst the carving of the "bone".  Also, the tan color of the Bondo matrix in the skull openings is a different color than the gray stone base it is on.  The matrix in these two areas would be the SAME color if this was genuine.  After this was sculpted and carved, it was painted.  This FAKE was sold as being 100% authentic and guaranteed.  Regardless, the unsuspecting buyer is unaware that they now proudly showcase a total fake in their collection!


The Chinese sure have fossil formations full of very artistic fossils!  Actually, this "cute" double frog fossil is a total FAKE - carved in the rock, stained and then sealed with glue to blend and disguise the work.  Many times Chinese fakers will make multiple fossils in "friend / lover" or "mother and baby" themes in order to appeal to the ignorant buyers looking for "pretty" items.  (SEE THE NEXT TWO ITEMS BELOW)  This is another total FAKE sold as GENUINE!


Genuine specimens of these are never so artistically and perfectly posed together in nature.  Both creatures are painted on a blank rock slab lacking any real fossils.  Meant to appeal to those that want artful-looking fossils.


Another FAKE "companion" double fossil with an artistic theme.  BOTH turtles have been carved on a rock slab and then stained and sealed to appear genuine.  Note anatomical inaccuracies as well as asymmetry in skull openings, bone shapes / sizes.  Color of bones is also very artificial-looking and differs from the resin and glue carapace.  EVERY one of these you see for sale will be FAKE.

Below is a common turtle fake fossil from China that has been around the market for quite some time.  The technique to make these utilizes epoxy putty similar to auto body filler.  The animal is sculpted, textured and carved before the putty cures, and then painted and sealed.  The same process to make these is also used on the CROCODILE SKULLS shown at the top of this page.  The pink tone you see in these "fossils" is not genuine matrix but the color of Bondo auto body epoxy putty.  The gray region on the edge of the rear is where the putty was sanded down too far, went beyond the pink Bondo putty layer and ran into the gray color rock base. 

Note photo below of the skull which lacks the proper shape, texture and definition of genuine bone.  Like the CROCODILE SKULLS FROM CHINA, THIS TURTLE IS A FAKE.

23:53 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |

en nog ne keer !



A completely carved FAKE Ichthyosaur slab from China.  There is not a single speck of GENUINE fossil on this rock.  Entire skeleton was carved in relief.  Note lack of proper anatomy and detail to bones.   Sometimes, these are skillfully stained after carving and appear quite convincing, selling for thousands and thousands of dollars.  This specimen sold for over $8,000.00 on auction.


A product of a creative Chinese fossil faker's mind.  Fantasy fossil that is 100% FAKE!  Typical technique of a carved and painted dinosaur-looking creature on blank rock slab.


A FAKE SABER CAT SKULL made from a substantially modified dog skull but possibly a mix of multiple animals.  Entire snout portion is roughly carved plaster with fake saber teeth and genuine carnassial teeth glued into the jaws after the original genuine teeth were removed.


A entirely FAKE Chinese spider fossil with a fabricated negative slab included to appear authentic.  Note the fake negative impression legs and angles do not exactly match the fake positive painted impression.  Last time we checked, spiders had 8 legs but the positive has 7 legs while the negative shows 9!

23:51 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

en nog Chinezen...

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 |

Weeral over Chinezen...

FAKE CHINESE FOSSILS - Their Proliferation in Today's Market

Exposing the Fraud of Unscrupulous Fossil Dealers and their Magnificent-Looking Fossils

Perhaps no other source for fake fossils has posed such a problem as exists today with fossils from China.  We must preface this section to say the fake Chinese fossil market is becoming increasingly sophisticated and changing so rapidly that any fossil now originating in China should be approached with caution.  This section deals with only the tip of a massive and growing "iceberg". 

Each year, thousands of trusting buyers are duped by both inexpensive and very expensive, highly realistic fakes.  More troubling, even scientists have fallen prey to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the Chinese fake fossil artists.  In 1999, highly recognized scientists along with National Geographic magazine presented an amazing new discovery of a feathered dinosaur discovered in the Liaoning Province of China.  The bird with a dinosaur's tail was named ARCHAEORAPTOR.  A year later, it was found to be a clever fake.

China has an immense scientific wealth of genuine fossil deposits.  Despite SEVERE Chinese cultural property laws (up to and including the death penalty) that forbid the export or trade in fossils, one can see numerous Chinese fossils for sale in shops, shows, on fossil dealer websites and in online auctions such as EBay (consistently THE highest incidents of fraudulent auctions).  With the threat of such strict laws, one has to wonder "How can there be so many Chinese fossils making out of the country?"  Simple logic is all that is needed.... THEY ARE FAKES!  The Chinese have found it easier (and safer) to just MAKE these fossils.  There is no worry or risk to a Chinese dealer when they ship a fake out of the country! 

Most Chinese fossils are found in remote villages where extreme poverty is the norm.  The financial rewards to fake or substantially fabricate rare fossils they are familiar with is akin to winning the lottery for most farmers in these regions.  With a history and culture of incredible craftsmanship dating back to the Neolithic Age, today, the Chinese have focused their skills on mastering the fabrication of fossils.  Each year, countless fake Chinese fossils of ALL kinds are sold to ignorant (and dishonest) fossil dealers who then in turn, sell to trusting customers.  Many of these outright fakes have, and continue to, sell for thousands of dollars! 

Only the most experienced fossil dealers who possess necessary test and preparation equipment and who are EXTENSIVELY EXPERIENCED WITH ALL TECHNIQUES OF FOSSIL RESTORATION AND FABRICATION should be trusted to know the difference when it comes to fake fossils of ANY source or type!  Very few fossil dealers have any more knowledge in this than the very customers that rely on them!  Do NOT be afraid to ask your fossil dealer about his or her PERSONAL and immediate experience in fossil preparation, restoration and fabrication.  If they tell you they do not PERSONALLY possess MANY YEARS OF EXTENSIVE first-hand experience in artistic techniques and application in fossil fabrication and restoration, and that they mainly rely on THEIR sources, avoid these dealers at all costs!!!  These fossil dealers likely have several specimen in their inventory that they have no clue as to their true authenticity regardless of any guarantee or assurances that they will provide you.

The variety and magnitude of fake Chinese fossils that are sold today is endless.  Today, the Chinese will fake ANYTHING in their quest to offer something that is new and exciting to the already-flooded fake market.  As of this posting, we observed a most interesting creation.  There is a dealer on EBay who recently sold a "fossil rat" on a slab fabricated out of nothing more than a horrible fish fossil.  The head and body of the fish was altered to look like a rat and the arms and other extremities were carved and painted on the rock.  This worthless fake sold for $3,010.00!  As the famous quote goes, "There's a sucker born every minute."  In this case, the auction involved 8 bidding "suckers" fighting for this one.

You can see where the slab on the left side is a darker gray color and ends about where the box is around the fish head.  On close-ups of this fossil (posted in the following pages of this section) you can also see unique anatomical characteristics of a fish skull and fish vertebrae with thin spiny ribs that only a fish skeleton would have, not a rat!!!  Simply amazing.  No doubt this fossil will end up proudly displayed on someone's shelf or worse yet, offered for a substantial price by some foolish or crooked dealer! 


We have observed expertly done Chinese fossil fakes being sold on both Ebay and a few large fossil dealer websites.  Many of these CHINESE FAKE FOSSILS have sold for THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS with several selling for WELL OVER TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Amazingly, many are being sold shortly after being listed! 

In a February 2000 issue of "New Scientist", an article focused on Chinese fossil fakery (New Scientist, "F is for fake," 19 February 2000).  Several highly respected paleontologists expressed extreme caution about the authenticity of Chinese fossils.  Most famous amongst them was internationally known paleontologist Dr. Larry Martin of the University of Kansas.  Perhaps his comment 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!". 

The problem areas of Chinese fake fossils to watch for changes every year.  This list is not meant to be a comprehensive one but where we have seen some serious issues in the fossil trade.  Known areas of Chinese fossil fakes are listed below BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:




The techniques are both ingenious and varied as to what the Chinese do to fabricate and substantially enhance fossils.  Most Chinese fossils are made by a combination of these processes.  These techniques include:

1) Using real materials (bones, teeth, body parts) to embed in glue, resin and plaster to create a complete fake fossil composite on a slab or piece of matrix.  (i.e. using modern chicken or frog bones glued to matrix to make various skeleton fossils).

2) Crushing genuine fossil bone and mixing with glue to fabricate body parts, skulls and skeletons that appear genuine with the proper color.

3) Casting, painting and sculpting a fossil on a slab or in three-dimension and even breaking it and then repairing it to appear genuine or give the appearance of calcite veins running through the fabrication.

4) Blending three-dimensional skulls (even using modern skulls!) of different animals together with artificially added real teeth to create fake skulls of rare, impressive animals. (especially a problem with Saber Cat skulls)  This has been done by adding genuine fossil teeth to modern skulls or attaching animal teeth to a composite of modern skulls such as pig, dog, horse, cat, etc. to create new exotic or rare species.

5) Assembling genuine fossils of unrelated specimens together to make a complete, impressive fossil.  The Chinese fossil fakers do this ALL THE TIME!  Even the dinosaur eggs are faked by creating a dummy egg-shaped core and gluing on a mosaic of unrelated fossil eggshell pieces that once were part of hundreds of different fossil eggs (sometimes you can still see the varying colors of the unrelated pieces!) together like assembling a picture puzzle, to make what looks like a complete egg!

23:47 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


nieuwe info

De info in de kolommen hier links en rechts is al aangepast, nu nog onze dagelijkse avonturen in het middenstuk ;-)...

Hier binnenkort korte stukjes over fossielen en paleontologie in het algemeen; een fotootje ter illustratie, of voor hulp bij het determineren; paleo-humor (nee, niet opzoeken, het staat niet in het groene boekje!); weetjes, enz... 

16:41 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

beetje vergeten, maar binnenkort weer 100% actief !


00:31 Gepost door Rudi | Permalink | Commentaren (24) |  Facebook |