Nicolas Cage returns stolen Mongolian dinosaur skull

I cannot say that I have ever enjoyed a Nicholas Cage movie. Is that relevant? Maybe, maybe not. They just don’t appeal to me. Nor can I say I have followed the tabloid adventures of the A-lister that some have suggested is slipping towards a more consonant focused career. Still you can appreciate a good deed when you encounter one, and his recent act was maybe enough to give him another go.

The title gives you a quick look at what I am talking about, but here is a little bit more insight into the event.

Mongolia was robbed, one of it’s national treasures was stolen, the skull of Tyrannosaurus bataar. The Tyrannosaurus bataar is a relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex and only lived in Mongolia. The skull had been smuggled out of the country over the Gobi desert where it was purchased by Nicholas Cage in 2007. The actor paid a reported $276,000 for the fossil.

When he learned about the origins of the skull he agreed to return it. This is only one incident of fossil smuggle that is an ever present challenge for researches since many find their way into private collections.

What was interesting is that when I read this it made me realize several things. First, that the T-rex had family. And that there is an active market for fossilized dino bits.

In closing it was nice to see somebody was willing to do the right thing, even if it cost them a quarter of a million dollars.

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