Deep in Taiwan's mountain, there are deposits of marble of different quality and color. There used to be a thriving industry of these materials. The trade was eventually banned by the government to protect the environment. Some of the merchants turn to importation of crystals and semiprecious stones. Two buddies in the trade also developed interest in the collection of fossils. Their hobby and now business took them to all over the world. One of them went so far as went to Germany to receive formal training in fossil cleaning, including dinosaur bones. They started business with 4 people in a 180 square feet room 12 years ago. Now Paleowonders Mineral and Fossil Museum with is affiliated Institute and Nature Shop is the only professional fossil cleaning service in Asia, and one of the only four in the world.
Their little office in Taipei has a collection of over 10,000 dinosaur specimen. They provide service for museums around the world. But fossil trading is not just for museum and academics anymore. Last November, Nicolas Cage just outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for a dinosaur skull for US$ 276,000.
The dinosaur exhibition in the new branch of National Taiwan Museum are real dinosaur fossils provided by our local Paleowonders Institute.
To see more entries of ABC Wednesday from around the world click here.
To see more Camera-Critters from around the world click here. Sorry for the Camera-Critters fans, these are not cute, huggable pets. These are the carcasses of vicious animals from the ancient past.