n. A person who illegally extracts and sells fossils.
Other Forms
However, when I finally arrived at the park entrance, I was turned away. A vigilant park ranger forbid me to see the trails because I had failed to acquire the proper permits. Their location, I learned, was a matter of great secrecy due to the rise of so-called "paleo-pirates," who had been known to carve out the more notable fossils and sell them to collectors.
—Robert Moor, On Trails, Simon & Schuster, July 12, 2016
He is also working to encourage the formation of paleo parks — fossil localities that should be preserved and protected from damage due to development, over-collecting, vandalism, and paleopiracy.
—“Changes at UCMP: Two retired and two hired,” University of California Museum of Paleontology, July 13, 2010
These unique fossils have been well publicized through exhibitions, newspaper articles, scientific research papers and various web sites. As a result and in spite of their remote location, they are endangered by unauthorized fossil collectors. These paleo-pirates violate local and national laws, destroy fossils and fossil sites, and leave debris and garbage in the area.
—Mikhail A. Fedonkin, et al., “Paleo-piracy endangers Vendian (Ediacaran) fossils in the White Sea - Arkhangelsk region of Russia,” Notebooks on Geology, August 06, 2009
1997 (earliest)
The crew winds back to the quarry site—the exact location they don't publicize, to guard against paleo-pirates—on a twin-track truck trail that punishes the kidneys even at crawling speed.
—Bob Batz Jr., “Jaws Four,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 20, 1997
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