Courtesy Jordi Payà via FlickrPaleo-blogger Brian Switek has written an interesting and lengthy article recounting the recent attempt to auction off a stolen Tarborsaurus bataar skeleton. Professional paleontologists and other concerned parties complained that the illegal dinosaur's remains had come from - and by law belonged to - the country of Mongolia. A last minute court order stopped the auction just as the Tarborsaurus (a relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex) was on the block and already receiving bids. Switek, who blogs about dinosaurs on the National Geographic magazine’s Phenomena website writes how the black-market fossil trade deprives institutions of both funds and important scientific knowledge. It does so by creating a commercial market that tends to overly inflate the price of rare fossils beyond the reach of most non-profit institutions, and removes rare specimens from scientific study and public view.