posted on May, 1 2006 @ 10:50 AM
This happens more than people might realize! Some paleontologists don't spend much time in teh field, they just look at stuff that is in backroom
collections at museums. The American Museum of Natural History
, for example, only even displays 10% of its
collections, so you can imagine the sheer volume of stuff in these storage cabinets and rooms. Often stuff just gets looked at by a researcher who
unpacked in decades ago, who makes a note, and puts it into a log book.
, who is basically
the guy responsible for people thinking dinosaurs
as something more than big plodding lizards, managed to actually find a specimin of the rare Archaeopteryx, but not in the field, he found it in a
museum, it had been collected before the original Archaeopteryx find and wasn't recognized as being especially important! It had just been sitting
there for decades!
There are lots more fossils in the ground, and there are a heckuva lot in storage that aren't understood.