Do you sell dinosaur eggs?

Author: Matt Heaton

Outside of “I have some fossils do you want to buy them?” and “I found this rock that I’m sure is a dinosaur tooth/claw, can you ID it?” the most common question I’ve gotten recently through the contact form on is “Do you have dinosaur eggs for sale?”  I seem to get this question at least once a week, and already been asked this three times time week.  There must have been a reality show featuring dinosaur eggs or something recently. 

A nest of Hadrosaur eggs found in China.
A nest of Hadrosaur eggs found in China.

The short answer is. No, we don’t have any dinosaur eggs for sale and are very unlikely to in the future.  The longer explanation is this…

Basically, all commercially available dinosaur eggs on the market come from either Mongolia or China.  Both countries have very strict laws against the exportation of fossils and these laws have been in place for many decades.  Any dinosaur eggs available on the market have been illegally smuggled out of these countries.  As far as I’m aware permits have never been issued for commercial purposes. 

It’s not hard to find dinosaur eggs from these countries being sold openly on the market, online, in shops and at shows.  In fact many of them are not particularly rare having been smuggled out in massive quantities over the years (think tens of thousands).  Once they make it out of the country there relatively little enforcement, but that doesn’t change the fact they were exported illegally and it’s something I’m just not touching. 

Enforcement activity has also ramped up in recent years with some high profile seizures.

I do have strong personally opinions that overly restrictive laws on fossil collecting and exportation in these countries are in fact fueling this black market,  In turn causing many important specimens/data to be lost of science, driving up prices and exacerbating the problems the laws were intended to prevent.  But we will save that for another blog post in the near future.