A total of 213 dinosaur egg fossils that had been looted from a construction site were found during a raid at a local home in Heyuan city, Guangdong province on July 30. Police also found a complete dinosaur skeleton that’d been stolen from another excavation site.
The eggs were among hundreds that had been unearthed by workers in June and late July, but pilfered by local villagers before scientists and researchers could get to the scene to take them.
A skeleton found inside the villager’s home was identified as belonging to a Psittacosaurus, which existed over 100 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous period, and is believed to have come from another dig site in Liaoning province.
It’s not clear how long the skeleton had been in the resident’s house or whether anyone had been detained in the raid.
Illegal excavations for dinosaur fossils have been somewhat common in the city since the first ones were discovered there in 1996, CRI reports, citing the Guangzhou Daily News. Some residents steal fossils and keep them, while others auction them off overseas. Due to the lack of enforcement power by the government’s land and culture departments, many of them seem to get away with it.
[Images via CRI]