Rare raptor fossil returned to scientists after stolen
GREAT FALLS, Montana (WKOW) -- A dinosaur skeleton stolen from private property and then stored in an evidence locker for two years was finally turned over to researchers.
The turkey-sized fossil of a new raptor species is over 70-million-years-old according to researchers at Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota. They say it's unusual to find the skeleton of a meat-eating dinosaur, especially one so small.
Commercial fossil hunters dug up the dinosaur, removing it from the property without knowledge or permission from the property owners.
The fossil was returned after a state and federal court convicted the fossil-hunters.
The property owner turned the fossil over the South Dakota institute for research.
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