Fyodor Shidlovskiy and Mike Triebold don't know each other in a hole on the ground, but they have an eternal passion for the long term
Dead and buried beasts
Every summer, Shidlovskiy conducts a hunting activity on the tundra in northeast Siberia consisting of men, buses, trucks, amphibious vehicles, planes, helicopters and river boats.
During the long Arctic day, he and his team spent weeks restoring the bones and ivory of the long-haired mammo elephant until about 10,000 years ago, walking with our own fur on the cold grassland, the clumsy predecessor of today's elephant-clad ancestors.
The best discovery of his recovery (
With body filler and varnish)
Assembled into a complete skeleton
He carved the bones and ivory of poor quality into chess and knick-knacks.
The least valuable thing is grinding into powder for traditional Chinese therapy.
In the end, everything was sold, mainly in Hong Kong and the United States. Shidlovskiy (
Fiona told his friends that everyone soon became friends of this happy, glowing Russian)
I was invited to explore with photographer Lynn Johnson.
This is more important than your running. of-the-
He promised: a hunter revealed to him the whereabouts of a complete baby mammoth elephant skeleton, the rarest of the rarest, and he was happy to have us together to record the important findings of the promise.
On a warm morning in August, a few hours before dawn, we met Fiodor outside his Tony Pinke --
A brick apartment building in Moscow is set to begin his latest adventure.
Two months ago, on the other side of the Earth, Mike tripod kissed his wife J. J.
Goodbye in their custom
Built a wooden house in the shadow of the Colorado pines peak and jumped on a team of four
He's heading north with four of his guys.
They were driven to the sleepy cow city of Nongda, Montana, where I would see them.
Triebold is also looking forward to a very rare Tyrannosaurus rex teenager.
Walter Stein, field manager at Triebold, recently discovered a rib sticking out of concrete.
Hard sandstone leased by Triebold on private land is used for fossil collection.
The prospect of connecting this bone to the rest of a young T.
Rex has a Triebold connection, which is very heavy on his Kools.
For Shidlovskiy and Triebold, the pursuit and excavation of the dead is a great pleasure in life.
In addition to the stimuli found, the old bones provide them with a comfortable life.
In fact, a good T as the price goes up.
Rex is well connected with millions of people, a perfectly clear mammoth elephant sold for a quarter or more and was very comfortable.
Shidlovskiy and Triebold are members of a freelance little brothers Association (
They dig up fossils and sell them for profit.
It took me months to track commercial fossil dealers and look into their trade, not only in Siberia and Colorado, but also in Morocco, northeast China, Montana and Dakotas.
I find that some dealers are careful collectors and honest businessmen;
Others have a bad reputation, have a grumpy temper, tear bones from national parks and other protected lands and sell them quickly.
There are also people, especially in developing countries such as China and Morocco, who are farmers who are trying to ease their miserable lives with whatever they can get from the earth around them.
During the trip, I witnessed the damage caused by some unscrupulous or untrained dealers.
I saw it in Northeast China.
Swaying farmers cut slabs containing the remains of ancient birds and fish, and they rarely care about turning over the ground.
I see that smuggling and counterfeit fossils are legal to sell in the United States, and the government is strictly prohibited from digging and exporting fossils.
Possession of land without a permit, but there is no law prohibiting imports, even if they are smuggled out of their country of origin.
I also saw commercial dealers digging through fossils and cleaning up millions of years of debris with exquisite teeth --
Style the tools and keep detailed records of their discoveries.
However, academic paleontology, I have interviewed a dozen people around the world who tend to attract all dealers with the same Bush as the greedy Yahu and the enemies of science, I don't think it should be.
This is not to say that every dealer has a fair business.
Most of the fossil trade is cash, and international sales often involve bribery of customs officials and police.
The secret nature of such a deal makes it impossible to invest a total of one dollar in global trade, but there is sound speculation among dealers and scientists that it will reach tens of millions of dollars a year.
The bone market boomed in the 1980 s, when dealers from Japan flew high in the economic bubble and began buying some of the biggest and best American stocks. S.
Install fossils in the new museum at home.
Japan's frenzy has pushed prices beyond the reach of most American scientists and museums that cannot compete in auctions without the help of generous donors or corporate supporters. The price run-up hit an all-
In 1997, McDonald's and Walt Disney bought a Tyrannosaurus rex named Sue at a marketing genius show to help the Field Museum in Chicago at an amazing price.
$36 million for kids around the world.
The auction caused a media sensation and attracted the attention of landowners in the western United States. S.
The market value of the bones buried in their property.
Fossils, once primarily considered scientific treasures, are now potentially lucrative commodities.
One result is that more and more rural owners are ignoring scientists who rely on free access to fossil sites. (
In contrast, a commercial dealer usually pays a percentage of the profit to the landowner.
Mike Triebold said he paid a ranch owner up to $76,000. )
For decades, the relationship between scientists and the farm families they visit every summer has dried up.
Like any commodity, prices are driven by demand, and in today's booming market, fossils compete with fine arts to attract the attention of the super rich.
Like earlier industrial tycoons who bid for Masters, wealthy fossil enthusiasts such as Bill Gates, Nicolas Cage and Charlie Xin compete for the most striking works at auction houses in New York and California.
These fossils are usually found in the beachfront rooms of the most magnificent mansion on the Pacific coast.
The ancient biologists lament that once the specimens have disappeared into private collections, they will be overwhelmed by the Institute of Science.
But dealers quickly pointed out that most of the world's great museums have collected important fossils donated by collectors.
In fact, many museum collections are from the profit-minded men (
And occasionally famous women)
They went to the wilderness of the Western United States, the barren wasteland of Siberia, the burning desert of Mongolia, or the mild-
They collect the bones, teeth and horns of their country.
Edward puke and othier Charles Marsh were two great ancient biologists in the late 19 th century, both of which paid dealers to find large numbers of fossils, they once launched a fierce "bone war" for their leading position in the field ".
Mary Anning half a century ago
Educated British woman who grew up in a poor family on the edge of a cliff off the coast of the Lime Regis, collected spectacular Jurassic fossils and sold them to scientists and Nobles across Europe.
After her death in 1847, she was hailed as "the greatest fossil in the world ".
"Today's scientists are not so flattering about fossil dealers.
But the opinion of the scientists is far from the idea of Fiodor shallovsky, who tied us to a chartered bus parked next to his house.
The driver grinded the gear in the right position and we rolled down the first leg of 8,000mile (12,875-kilometer)
Transport by road, air and water.
Shidlovskiy's blue eyes, enlarged behind the wire-
Wearing rimmed glasses, sparkling with excitement.
Among Us is a good friend of Sid Lovsky, Pastor John Wood, a man who loves to speak and speaks. game-
Famous Doctor neighbors from Waco, Texas and wood "Dr Joe" Cunningham hunting Baptist priest.
They came here mainly for adventure. (
In a few months, they will ship a box of medical supplies from Waco to the Siberian clinic we visited. )After a 14-
An hour by bus, we arrived at the abandoned air base at Yoshkar Ola, and Fyodor pushed us to a hit place --
Russian border patrol cargo plane.
This once respectable warhorse has no seat, no cooling, no heating, and no toilet except for a few benches.
To our surprise, a group of Siberian people living in Moscow are on board. They heard that Fyodor is going to their hometown. Can they take a lift?
"Fyodor just doesn't know how to say no," Wood said with envy.
The good news is that our gracious host stuffed a box of vodka under the pilot's seat.
Not so encouraging is the enthusiasm of the pilots and pilots to participate in the bottle after bottle of toast.
Eight time zones, nearly ten flying hours, after a box of vodka, the screaming plane trembled and stopped on the broken track of Cherskiy. longer-
The bustling port town on the Kolyma River in the autonomous republic of Olympia (Yakutiya)
Over the Arctic Circle.
The bladder was broken, the back was sore, and we carefully went underground and fell into a hug from Sergei Zimov and his wife, Gary.
Zimovs operating tundra-
A scientific monitoring station outside an almost uninhabited town.
The ecologist Sergey receives scientists and occasional commercial bone collectors such as Fyodor to help resist the post-
Russian ancient biologists are too hard.
Some people are forced to steal fossils from their own museums and sell them.
In 1999, a complete rhino skeleton, as large as an SUV, was disassembled from the Yakutsk State University Mammoth museum to show its place in the room next to the director's office.
Fiona returned the fossil and returned it to the museum.
He said the move won him formal publicity.
End the permission to collect and remove fossils in Saha and set up your own
He likes to call himself the Emperor of Siberia ".
After a day of R & D at Camp zimovs, we put on funky boots (
In summer, the sponge tundra above the frozen layer can move like quicksand)
Climb the orange and blue Mi-
Fiona rented eight helicopters.
We sailed 200 miles (320 kilometers)
Stretch north through the broken tundra to the Arctic coastline.
Our first stop was a rough wooden cottage next to a winding creek, where there were two people from Fiona and a black manand-
A white dog named Nelson has been in the past two months.
They collected a huge collection of bones and ivory and loaded them into the rear of the helicopter.
Next, we took off on a towering coastal cliff a few miles away.
Fiona and one of his men, Anatoly Borischuk, slid from the black muck on the cliff to a narrow ledge, where, earlier, Borischuk found a giant skull of an adult, the size is equivalent to washing machine.
A crew member dropped a rope and fiodolor crossed the eye socket, all hands helping to pull the skull up into the helicopter.
Our last stop of the day was andogino village.
While our helicopter was giggling on the ground, a group of shouting people poured out of their concrete.
Welcome to our block house with their wide Asian faces smiling.
Villagers are members of the yucagir minority, who live by grazing reindeer.
Some people increase their limited income by collecting fossils, although taboos warn against disturbing mammo elephants.
He paid them cash, snowmobiles, boats, outboard motors, and laser disco equipment that was recently equipped for the new entertainment center.
A wooden sledge dragged by a tractor scraped at us, filled with skulls, fur, ribs, iron backs and femurs.
There is a huge skull and two Golden teeth on the bone pile, enough to accommodate an NBA star.
The helicopter was stuffed with these loot, and the human cargo landed on the bones of our choice, ready to return to Cherski.
Late the next night we drove to the shabby port of Cherski.
We stumbled across the Rusty beams and broken glass,owned channel-
Boat with Mark 480-mile (772-kilometer)
Travel on the Kolyma River.
Finally, I started looking for a baby elephant.
The next day when the sun went down, we broke down near the fossil point and went ashore by steamboat.
We trudged awkwardly into a shallow mud pit in fashionable boots.
The people who lay down there in Feodor found the big femur and some other bones.
Alas, just a few weeks before we arrived, when he found the body, the stream of tributaries had dried up, only a few feet away from the cemetery.
Russian fossil hunters usually wash away the earth that buried mammoth bones with pressurized water.
The only possible water source right now is a small pool a few hundred yards away, which means more hoses are needed for Fyodor.
Another of his soldiers flew back to Chesky in a small boat and lost all day.
When he came back, he was carrying the old canvas hose and the generator of the Fiona portable pump from the town's fire department.
The waiting excavation begins and continues day and night for the next 48 hours.
By the late afternoon of the next day, the pool was almost dry, and people went out of their way to increase the flagging flow of water and dug up several pieces of muck as dense as chewing gum.
To everyone's dismay, they only found more bones.
Young people are either killed in another place, part of the remains are dragged to this place by predators, or for thousands of years, debris is washed away by rain and melted snow.
We're gone, and Fiona's down.
But not long.
A few hours after sailing back to Chesky, we were in a three
There are dry fish in the cabin, such as the Silver Flag, guarded by the barking Snow dogs dog.
Last summer, Fiona recruited hunters.
Fishermen living here collect any bones they encounter, whether it's mammoth or whatever.
Now he had to wake up one of the men, lying in a drunken stupa on the cobblestone --The paved river bank(
Among the lone hunters on the tundra, drinking is common. )
After a few steaming sweet teas, a smiling Valeriy Petrov took us to the space below a cabin where he and his friends hid
Fiodor estimated that the ship was carrying more than a thousand pounds and offered the men a price equivalent to $16,000, which they snapped up.
He handed over a thick stack of rubles and promised to deliver a snowmobile and an outboard motor.
The bones were delivered to our ship, and we continued to run to Cherski overnight.
As the speed of the boat accelerated, Fiodor began sorting the bones, picking out huge fossils and happily throwing the garbage into the river.
About 20 minutes later, four men in the Environmental Council patch cheered and boarded our ship in their camouflage suit.
In the face of allegations of poaching fossils at the comoria National Park, Fiodor proudly assured officials that their concerns were wrong.
Can't they use the new outboard motor anyway?
Not only that, he will take good care of them if they collect bones for him in the future.
The defenders of the land in the past thanked their new benefactor very much, took his hand and jumped back to their speedboat and left.
Fiodor turned to his confused American bystander, who raised his arms in horror and tilted his head to one side. "Russia! " he said.
Mike Triebold's adventure to central Montana is far less daunting, at least in terms of getting to where we are going.
After a quiet night at the best value hotel on Roundup Street, Triebold and I jumped for an hour with his team
A pickup truck makes a long trek on a thorn ranch and ends up crossing a Thorn Ranchwire gate.
When these people unloaded a pneumatic jack and other tools, Triebold took me to a pristine scar in the brown sandstone.
It was dug from the side of a jagged mound, up to twostory house.
Barely sticking out of the rock is a bone on a standing grilled rib, holiday wrapped in aluminum foil to protect.
Triebold says it belongs to a young dinosaur, which is "floating", meaning it has no connection to any other part of the buried skeleton.
That lone bone is the latest in Triebold's collection, and his crew has recovered since they started digging live last summer.
Triebold has been tracking the fossils for more than 20 years, and he has reason to believe that the rest of the bones are buried in the mound.
That means he and the crew will have to remove up to 10 feet people (three meters)
Cover before reaching the level the animal may reach.
The excavation began: the roar of the gasoline generator and the breaking sound of the big hammer interspersed with long-time noise, except for the small chisel scraping on the sandstone.
Huge Black Thunder made on top of us and the wind
Our eyes were drawn into the sand.
When the Thunder head's dust and temperature dropped later in the afternoon, the crew of Triebold didn't seem to make any progress.
He pushed back his soft hat and decided it was over today.
I was disappointed.
He seems not.
"The ground is the hardest place I 've ever worked in, but I have a good feeling about it," he said in an apartment in the Midwest . ".
"Six months later, after Triebold found a large part of the skeleton, he sent me an email
Email: "very exciting news: one of the rib fragments has been cleared [T. rex]
The jagged through it. . . .
We think this is Rex's first direct evidence. on-rex violence.
Now, the biggest problem is: a pack of Nanos [Nanotyrannus]
Kill and start eating the young beast Rex, then drive away by an adult Rex who is cleaning up.
Rex, which one did the body?
Or adult T.
Rex killed and ate the teenager in the behavior of the Cannibal, leaving only the leftovers of the adult T. Later nano OS
Is Rex full?
Or was teenager Rex killed by adult Rex in a territorial war, and then the body was eaten by a group of Nanos?
We will look for more clues when we prepare samples.
"While Cleaning and stabilizing the bones, Triebold carefully drew the site and kept all the accessory fossils.
This level of detailed data for commercial dealers is the first decision to purchase the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh-of-its-
Oviraptosaur from Triebold and Fred Nuss, the fossil hunter who found it.
The source is very good. Scientists can enter the place where specimens are found.
Carnegie is not the only one. S.
The museum sells fossils to dealers.
The deal between Carnegie and Triebold has angered some ancient biologists.
"We won't do that," said Kevin Padia, director of paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. A dead-
A serious scientist, with a poor-looking face and curly hair, padian accused, dealers will not make the necessary efforts to determine the location of the fossil underground and the impact of the surrounding soil on the petrochemical process.
"This work must be done by experts, who are the ones who understand the value of science rather than the value of dollars.
"The core of business --versus-
The battle of science is how huge or limited the supply of Earth fossils is.
"No one who thinks of protection can think of resources as endless," Padian said . ".
Triebold's answer is: "There must be a lot of animals;
They are actually endless.
What about the spine? Even T.
Rexes is no longer the only one.
In short, fossils are not rare.
"In the back room tour of the antique collection at the American Museum of Natural History, Dean Mark Norrell walked with me in a row --to-
The shelves on the ceiling seem to be stacked with countless fossils, and many are still wearing plaster "field jackets ".
"Most people are waiting to be prepared and haven't been studied yet," Norrell admits . ".
"This is very common in almost every museum in the world.
"While many fossils are indeed rich, others are unique.
As James Kirkland of the Utah Geological Survey told me, "not all fossils are equal.
Some are worth scientific research, but some are not worth it.
One possible solution, Padian said, could be for dealers to explore with scholars.
Scientists can keep the original for research, and business people can make high-quality models that most museums and private collectors think are sufficient.
This will enable science to obtain a wider range of specimens and provide materials legally collected from government land to the private market in the form of castings.
Still, having spent many days with the stubborn protagonists of both groups, I suspect it will take them a long time to find each other.
How long may it take?
We can all be fossils first.