Everything Dinosaur Predictions for 2010

Time again for us to put our collective heads on the block and to try and second guess some of the news stories and palaeontological discoveries that are likely to take place over the next twelve months.  After quite a bit of debate and discussion amongst our team members, we have come up with a list of predictions as to what we think is going to happen, crystal ball gazing is not really our strong point but we have given it a go and early in 2011 we shall look back with trepidation to see how we did.

So in no particular order, here we go:

More Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals to go Under the Hammer

The trend for more specialist auctions of prehistoric artefacts and relics will continue.  In 2009, there were a number of high profile auctions held in Paris, London and Las Vegas with lots as varied as stone age implements, Sabre Tooth Cat skulls and fully mounted dinosaur skeletons.  We suspect that a number of large scale auctions will take place with a number of complete dinosaur fossils up for grabs.  Prices are likely to remain subdued, with the high figures of the late nineties and the noughties a distant memory.

Increased Pressure for Change in UK Museum Funding

With high levels of public debt in the United Kingdom and concerns over how to relieve the level of indebtedness of the UK Government, it is likely that there are going to be some dramatic cuts in public spending.  No prizes for us for stating the obvious; but one area that may come under increased scrutiny is the level of subvention provided to museums.  Many museums in Britain are free to enter, as a result of changes in Government funding in the late 1990s that led to increased subsidies and financial support for such institutions.  With the need to save money on public spending, free to enter museums such as the Natural History Museum in London may see their subvention and support cut and charges may have to be introduced.

“Dakota” to Hit the Headlines Once Again

Over the last three years or so we have covered a number of news stories and articles concerning the on-going research into the beautifully preserved Hadrosaurine dinosaur nicknamed Dakota.  This mummified Edmontosaurus is likely to reveal more secrets concerning Ornithischian anatomy and skin texture.

Criminal Charges for a Palaeontologist in the United States

One of the first changes made by President Obama when he came into office, was to strengthen legislation concerning the theft of ancient artefacts, relics and fossils from public land.  With the high prices that some fossils can fetch on the black market, we predict that there will be at least one reported court case concerning the extraction of fossils from public land and the falsifying of palaeontological records.  Expect more arrests regarding the excavation of dinosaur fossils.

The Everything Dinosaur Trilobite Hunt – At Last

For a number of years, team members at Everything Dinosaur have discussed the possibility of going on a Trilobite hunt.  These highly successful, but now extinct Arthropods hold a special fascination for us.  Many of the team members have had the opportunity to visit locations where Trilobite fossils have been found.  However, we have never organised a company trip to find Trilobite fossils.  We know of a number of secret locations where good quality Trilobite fossils can be found and 2010 might just be the year when we take up the opportunity to visit one of these sites.  Naturally, if we find some fossils we will take far more photographs of the fossils in situ than take away specimens and of course we will leave plenty behind for other visitors.  May be we should put some pictures up on this web log of our Trilobite hunt.

Increasing Emphasis on Science Teaching in UK Primary Schools

For a number of years now there has been slow and steady progress made by Primary and Secondary schools supported by various agencies to increase the amount of science and mathematics based teaching offered.  We expect that the work of Government backed educational organisations will become increasingly effective and more specialist lessons will be offered in support of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4.  National academic achievement statistics will show a continued improvement in the level of knowledge and understanding of science subjects.

March Marks a Millennium for Everything Dinosaur Web Log

We predict that by the end of March 2010, the Everything Dinosaur web log will have reached the landmark of 1,000 published articles, representing something like 1.2 million published words.  The web log (blog) began on Sunday May 27th 2007, it now takes up a considerable amount of band width and we continue to try add a new article or picture every single day.  We managed to go over the magic 100,000 page views back in August, we continue to attract more than 100,000 page views a month which is fantastic and we are grateful to all our readers and contributors.  As for predicting how many page views we will achieve by the end of 2010, that is a little tricky as we don’t have a great deal of experience in this field – however, we have had a sweep-stake round the office (the winner gets first choice of all the biscuits in the office for a month) and it seems that something close to 135,000 page views by the end of the year might be possible.  Here’s hoping.

New Genus of Pterosaur to be Announced

We would expect 2010 to continue the trend with many new dinosaur discoveries announced, however, we are plumping for a new genus of Pterosaur to come to light over the next twelve months.  Pterosaur fossils are extremely rare in the fossil record, the delicate, light, air-filled bones do not fossilise readily and Pterosaur discoveries tend to be much rarer than announcements concerning the discovery of new dinosaurs.  Northeastern China or Brazil with its famous Santana Formation are likely locations for such a discovery.

Beware of Smugglers

Despite the depressed market for dinosaur and other prehistoric animal fossils, we predict that there will be more smuggling of fossils and other valuable items onto the black market in 2010.  No doubt there will be some dubious items posted up onto Ebay and other auction websites to catch out the unwary.  We are expecting a major news story over the last year concerning the discovery and exposure of a significant fossil smuggling ring.

Last but not Least a thought for South Africa

In June and July the world’s sporting focus will be on South Africa with the football world cup taking place.  Although, we can’t predict a win for England (it would be lovely and they may make the semi-finals), but with all that Permian and Triassic strata in the country we predict that sometime in 2010 the discovery of new reptilian fossils will be announced in South Africa.  We could have suggested more dinosaur finds from Queensland in Australia, with the amount of excavation work going on down-under as it were, there is  a very good chance of new discoveries being made.  Perhaps a new genus of Dicynodont or something like that will emerge out of southern Africa.

So there you have it, our just for a bit of fun, predictions for the year ahead.  At the end of this year we will review this article and see how well (or badly) we did.

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