Skip to comments.Fight over dinosaur fossils comes down to what’s a mineral
Posted on 11/16/2018 2:04:02 PM PST by Olog-hai
About 66 million years after two dinosaurs died apparently locked in battle on the plains of modern-day Montana, an unusual fight over who owns the entangled fossils has become a multimillion-dollar issue that hinges on the legal definition of mineral.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the Dueling Dinosaurs located on private land are minerals both scientifically and under mineral rights laws. The fossils belong both to the owners of the property where they were found and two brothers who kept two-thirds of the mineral rights to the land once owned by their father, a three-judge panel said in a split decision.
Eric Edward Nord, an attorney for the property owners, said the case is complex in dealing with who owns whats on top of land vs. the minerals that make it up and addresses a unique question of mineral rights law related to dinosaur fossils that no court in the country has taken up before. His clients own part of a ranch in the Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana thats rich with prehistoric fossils, including the Dueling Dinosaurs whose value had been appraised at $7 million to $9 million.
Lige and Mary Ann Murray bought it from George Severson, who also transferred part of his interest in the ranch to his sons, Jerry and Robert Severson. In 2005, the brothers sold their surface rights to the Murrays, but retained the mineral rights, court documents said. [ ]
A dispute arose in 2008 when the Seversons learned about the fossils a 22-foot-long (7-meter-long) theropod and a 28-foot-long (9-meter-long) ceratopsian.
(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.com ...
A bone of contention?....................
Well, at least they aren’t vegetable.
Maybe some day some odd creatures will be fighting over my fossil :)
(that just leaves me open to all kinds of jokes)
It’s neither animal or vegetable. Next question.
I’m afraid that like the ruling that declared tomatoes to be vegetables, you have to look to the intent of the law. Yes, the dinosaur bones are COMPOSED of minerals, but no, their value is not the value of the MINERALS, but of their form.
Said Bones to the Captain; “They’re dead, Jim”
Still it does bring a smile to my face, being familiar with the US West and the separability of mineral rights from surface rights. I recall an apocryphal story that had an easterner buy a small 10 acre piece to retire on. Wakes one morning to a knock and a request for some ‘people’ to come on the lot. Asking why, the reply is oil, he gets excited and asks what is it worth to me? Sad reply, we pay you for access to the property, the mineral rights aren’t yours and so sorry, no dollar$.
Two old fossils were fighting in Montana?
I thought Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters didnt like flyover country.
Those guys are amateurs! Here are the real pros!
Animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Be fair, split it in half length wise.
Thanks a fool in paradise and fieldmarshaldj.
Too late to add anything more than that.
Beats me. But they’re both bigger than a breadbox.
brings up the question, could someone quarry all of the surface mass from your property down say 50 feet and leave you with nothing but a deep hole in the ground?
“people wanted your limestone, dirt, etc...”
I’d be wary of a bad contract, but I think the point is that the mineral extraction can’t deprive you of the use of the property
Au contraire mi Amigo ( a little frog mex lingo there)........ without question, the fossils are animal.
The calcium rich bones mineralized over time to become rock.
That being the fact of the matter, mineral rights apply to the ownership
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