Carcharocles megalodon is back in the museum!

Also the 6th stolen tooth, a Carcharocles megalodon from Rumst (Belgium) is back in our hands since the 3rd of January. After one and a half year journey it’s now back in our Niersteiner Paleontological museum. An anonymous tip from a fossil-collector told us that he recognized the tooth in another collection in Germany (as- “object from an old collection”). After this, the teeth was delivered in a package on the 3rd of January in our Niersteiner museum.

The suspicion that the stolen teeth were located in Holland was wrong, for which I apologize at this point.

On the occasion of these events, we appeal to all collectors to photograph their collection-pieces. In our digital-age we live in, this can’t be a big deal. Without the photos of the stolen objects and without the Internet investigation those pieces where probably never returned to the museum! We hope that this deters against stealing a collection, or part of it. Unforgotten is also a collector who built up his special collection of Conularien using a false name and false certificates. Although there is competition between fossil collectors - whether it is exercised as a hobby or profession –this activity should be a nice and fair activity.

At this point I would like to express my gratitude to all who have helped us in this extraordinary “search&find-action”. Work taking place in the background such as strategy meetings, translations, and photo editing projects have been carried out with great dedication! Many thanks to Thomas Reinecke (researcher from Bochum), Kristiaan Hoedemaker (scientist from Mortsel / B), Enno Stiller (shark tooth collector from Aschaffenburg), Bob Poerink Jonge (fossil collector from Zuurdijk / NL), Lutz Käck (scientist from Hannover), Manfred Hoh (shark tooth collector from Griesheim), Boris Talosi (fossil collector from Kiedrich), Christian Keller (fossil collector from Ginsheim), Klaus Rohwedder (lawyer from Oppenheim), Gerald Ecker (police Oppenheim) and all the other participants!

For all the work and effort that was associated with this incredible "Search&find-action", I must still emphasize the positives of this story: The solidarity of fossil collectors has shown a marked family character and a corresponding solidarity! This was also evident in the various Internet forums. The return of the Megalodon is a good start for this New Year for us. I wish all of you a good start and a fossil-rich 2010, but most of all health and joy.

Harald Stapf (fossil-collector from Nierstein)