Thursday, July 5, 2007
Villagers in central China have acquired a taste for dinosaur bones, thinking they are the bones of flying dragons. Valued for their supposedly curative powers, the bones are extracted from the ground, pound to a powder, and used as ingredients in food and medicine. The concoctions are fed to children to alleviate dizziness and cramps, among other ailments. Scientist Dong Zhiming said that the dinosaur fossils were being sold in markets in Henan province as "dragon bones" since 2006 at about fifty cents per kilogram, until the villagers were told they were actually the remains of dinosaurs. They promptly donated 200 kilograms to him to study. The villagers had been selling and eating dinosaur bones for twenty years.