The BBC reports that remarkably well preserved fossils of tiny winged dinosaurs may be the missing link to resolve the debate over the origin of birds. But the real question is: will anybody believe the fossils are genuine?
As recently as 1999 gullible paleontologists put up $80,000 for an alleged winged dinosaur fossil from China that was featured on the cover on National Geographic. The only real problem was that the fossil was a fake.
Now the BBC ominously reports that,
We drove between parched brown fields and passed low mud-brick farms. An icy wind blew from Siberia to the north. The farmers buttoned up their coats against the chill as they gathered every last scrap of vegetation in the hope that they could keep their donkeys alive through another winter. Two years of drought have also meant these are impoverished people.
But as we came to the little village of Sihetun, there was a subtle difference. There were a few modern villa-style homes and some of the young men were riding new Japanese motorbikes. Clearly, there was an additional source of income here.
With the additional source of income coming from selling the many fossils being removed from nearby hills. We’ll see if these new “missing link” fossils stand up to scrutiny over the long term (and personally the whole story has a “too good to be true” feel to it).
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