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Morocco become world market for dinosaur remains

The traffic of archaeological fossils attracts more and more Americans and Europeans in the south of the kingdom. An investigation by a Spanish newspaper reveals that dinosaur bones are sold at low prices by Moroccans living only from this trade.

The investigation reveals that Morocco has become an international destination for researchers of dinosaur remains, including Europeans and Americans.

This Moroccan archaeological fossil trafficking is a very lucrative trade. Especially since traffickers buy these bones at a price that does not exceed 5 dollars to make huge profits. The newspaper reports the words of a Moroccan who works in the excavations and the search for fossils to sell them to tourists: “I sell everything to tourists who pass by here and I have a depot where I keep the bones of dinosaurs. Americans and Europeans pay $ 3,000 to buy a fragment of the tail of this gigantic reptile”.

The Spanish newspaper has described the southern region of Morocco as the world’s market for the sale and purchase of fossils. This area is home to local researchers, amateur collectors, scholars, traders and fake professionals. The paper points out that there are marine fossils that have been missing for 542 million years and that have lived in waters similar to those in Antarctica.

Nearly 20 000 families live from the trade of these bones. Illegal trafficking, but bringing in nearly $ 50 million. The Spanish newspaper survey mentions a Spanish archaeologist who owns the “Jurassic Dreams” electronic website dedicated to the sale of dinosaur bones from Morocco. The man does not hide it: “I have export documents and I pay my taxes. Besides, I only buy my goods from suppliers who have licenses to sell the remains of dinosaurs.”

The archaeologist gives the price of each part of the reptile: Theropod’s teeth (96 million years for 257 dollars), Spinausore’s claws (7,000 dollars) and dinosaur jaws (1,000 dollars). He states, moreover, that he has 650 permanent clients, most of whom are North American scholars, whose total bill varies between 6,000 and 12,000 euros per month. The Spanish newspaper reports the archeologist Guterres Marco declaring at the Aipai site: “We find fossils from Morocco exposed for sale at low prices like the jaws of the marine dinosaur (Inchados) whose purchase price does not does not exceed five euros”.

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