AP NEWS

A stolen trailer in Arkansas had fossils predating humans

October 26, 2019

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas woman woke up to find her trailer filled with rare and ancient fossils, including dinosaur eggs that are 70 million-year-old dinosaur eggs, was gone.

The trailer was taken in late September after Rodger Perkins, Gwynn Shafer and Paul Yumlu packed fossils in it for the Greater Little Rock Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show this month, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .

Perkins said the trailer had skulls of the perchoerus, a pig-like mammal that is one of the rarest of fossils; the dog-like cynodictis; the marine reptile keichousaurus; and a pair of baby rabbits that died nearly 15 million years ago. He said the fossils were worth nearly $20,000.

Perkins doubts that whoever stole the trailer knew what was inside. The thieves probably know how expensive the fossils are because they had price tags on them.

The group is united in their love of paleontology, archaeobiology and the study of ancient life. The three collect and sell fossils from all over the world.

Shafer explains that she became excited about fossils when she first held a long-extinct marine arthropod called a trilobite.

″(Yumlu) picked one up and walked over to me and told me to hold it and said, ‘Guess how old this is,’” Shafer said. “Of course it was like 400 million (years) because trilobites are some of the oldest, and that was it. It was over.”

“When I showed those fossils to Gwynn, I was just as amazed as she was,” Yumlu said. “Mother Nature is the first and greatest artist, and she takes her time.”

Shafer and Yumlu began searching for fossils in Florida, then she moved to Arkansas and met Perkins.

Perkins has been collecting and selling fossils for more than 20 years. He became intrigued with the hobby while taking biology classes during his pursuit to becoming a nuclear engineer.

Perkins said each fossil represents a movement in history and a step toward present life.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com