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Dinosaurs in the News 2 , November 2010

The most infamous of tyrannosaurus rex specimens is nicknamed Sue because she represents the closest thing to a complete skeleton. However, recent headlines in the news have placed Sue in the middle of a legal battle over intellectual property. In this article, you will learn why this special dinosaur is in the news, as well as find information on a new prehistoric crocodile species.

Dinosaur Bones Prompt Federal Lawsuit In Montana

One of the most famous dinosaur bone remains in the world is now part of a federal lawsuit in Montana, as one group believes that castings are being used to sell unauthorized copies of bones. Two organizations that preserve fossils are at the center of a battle involving bones belonging to two different well-known dinosaur specimens.

At one end is a South Dakota research company (the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research) who is suing a Montana nonprofit (Fort Peck Paleontology) that studies fossils over castings of bones from two tyrannosaurus-rex specimens that had been discovered in South Dakota. The Black Hills Institute claims that they lent out two castings to Fort Peck a couple of years ago. The lawsuit states that Fort Peck Paleontology did not return the castings and is now using them to sell unauthorized copies of the bones.

The castings come from Stan and Sue , the best well-known of tyrannosaurus rex specimens, Replicas of the creatures can be found in a variety of museums, including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Maryland Science Center. However, the original Sue has a permanent home at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

The president of Black Hills Institute is upset that the paleontology group is using the fruits of their labor to reduce the cost of their product. The lawsuit aims to receive an award of $8.2 million in damages in a case that delivers a different spin on intellectual property.

Prehistoric Crocodile Species Discovered

Living about 100 million years ago, the discovery of a new crocodile species has been announced. The fossil was identified in Thailand and was originally retrieved from an excavation held in Nakhon Rathchasima province (also referred to as Korat). Measuring 6 inches long, the fossil has not been linked to a distinct species, but has been named named “Khoratosuchus jintasakuli,” after Korat province and also uses the last name of the director of the Northeastern Research Institute of Petrified Wood and Mineral Resources , Pratueng Jintasakul.

The creature is described as having longer legs than modern-day crocodiles. The features of its teeth suggest that it most likely dined on fish. Perhaps other prehistoric discoveries will take place at the site, as Northeastern Thailand has become a significant draw for paleontologists in recent decades. Many different prehistoric fossils have been uncovered in what is referred to as the “dinosaur belt” of Thailand. Many specimens have represented the Mesozoic era in sedimentary rock.