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Fossilized Dinosaur Eggs Sold for Lesser Price in India: Report

Feb 03, 2013 05:09 AM EST

Fossilized dinosaur eggs, worth millions, fetch less than $10 (Rs. 500) in the state of Madhya Pradesh (MP) in India, according to a report in The Times of India newspaper.

The fossil-rich Dhar-Mandla belt in MP houses dinosaur eggs that date back to the Cretaceous period, between 145 and 66 million years ago. The only nesting site of the dinosaurs in MP is from Padlya region in the district of Dhar.

The area, which covers some 89 hectares, is facing security issues since 2007, with no fences or guards to protect the place. It has been an easy task for the smugglers, who come from different parts of the country, to pay a meager amount and get the eggs from tribals living in the area. The valuable eggs are then sold for a huge price in the international market, said the experts.

In a bid to prevent smuggling, the Madhya Pradesh government is planning to introduce the Fossils Preservation Act, which as of now envisions a transit pass to move the fossils. It also calls for wildlife officials to monitor the dinosaur egg sites as well as keep the forest department involved.

Speaking about the procedure of the illegal trade of dinosaur eggs, MP forest minister Sartaj Singh told the Times of India, "There is no count of how many dinosaur eggs have been removed. There really is need for a law as we don't yet have legal provisions to check this roaring business. And the fact that the government is helpless in curbing these activities has only emboldened this nexus. But with the impending passage of the Act, we can prohibit possession and sale of fossils." 

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