Jurský park na prodej

Ikarosaurus, slavná fosilie létajícího plaza z období triasu, který před deseti lety zmizel z výstavních sálů Amerického přírodopisného muzea, se jednoho krásného zářijového dne objevil v New Yorku. Pro muzeum to byla ohromná sláva. Pro celý systém veřejného školství a vědy to ale bylo také volání na poplach. Pokud nebudou co nejdříve podniknuty rázné kroky, zkameněliny se budou i nadále prodávat lidem, kteří nabídnou nejvyšší cenu. Je smutné, že Spojené státy nejsou v tomto ohledu výjimkou.

Celý příběh začíná v roce 1961, kdy na Newjerseyských palisádách, svazích poblíž New Yorku na druhém břehu řeky Hudson, hledali tři mladíci dávné zkameněliny. Tehdy se tam rozšiřoval a zarovnával starý kamenolom. Chlapci šli za buldozerem, který seškrabával nadloží, pod nímž je uložena vrstva křehké břidlice bohaté na zkameněliny. Jednoho dne v ní našli vzácné a ojedinělé pozůstatky dávnověkého plaza s dlouhými žebry, s jejichž pomocí plachtil mezi stromy.

Hoši odnesli exemplář do Přírodopisného muzea. Kurátor okamžitě pochopil význam jejich nálezu a pojmenoval jej podle jednoho z chlapců. O třicet let později jeden z hochů, dnes už dospělý muž, onemocněl a potřeboval peníze. Požádal tedy muzeum o odměnu za nález. Když muzeum jeho mnohamilionovou žádost zamítlo, pohrozil žalobou a poukázal na to, že exemplář byl muzeu jen zapůjčen. Podle dokumentace měl pravdu. A tak se muzeum muselo ikarosaura vzdát.

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