Florida dealer admits fossil smuggling

Tyrannosaurus Bataar

International trade in dinosaur fossils is now a multi-million pound industry, with many collectors prepared to pay incredible prices for rare specimens. Fossil dealer Eric Prokopi has admitted, in court, to illegally importing remains from Mongolia and China, including a 70 myo Tyrannosaurus Bataar, later sold at auction for over $1million (£600,000).

A second, almost complete, Tyrannosaur skeleton was found at Prokopi's home, and in a co-operation deal to attempt to secure leniency, Prokopi has also admitted to illegally importing two oviraptors, and a Saurolophus. He currently faces up to 17 years in prison when sentenced in April. 

Authorities are now beginning the process of repatriating the fossils. Mongolia has been seeking the return to the Tyrannosaur, originally from the Gobi Desert, through the US courts. 

Further details can be found here.