Paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago adjusts the world's only known Raptorex
skeleton, which was smuggled out of a Chinese fossil bed and later sold to U.S. collector Henry Kriegstein.
Kriegstein worked with Sereno to see that the T. rex
ancestor, revealed in September 2009, was properly studied and allowed the skeleton to eventually be returned to China, where it eventually go on public display.
project can hopefully serve as a model for saving--and learning from--smuggled dinosaurs, said Sereno, a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence
. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)
"Everybody involved with this Raptorex is a winner here," he said.
Photograph courtesy Mike Hettwer