Czech, Mongolian scientists preparing joint dinosaur expedition
(Czech News Agency Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)PRAGUE, Feb 20 (CTK) - Czech and Mongolian scientists are preparing a joint dinosaur expedition to the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia, organiser Martin Kostak told journalists today.
The first group of Czechs will leave for Mongolia in June. Starting this year, annual three-months' research will continue until 2009, Kostak said.
The expedition will start working this year in the Nemegt Formation that has yielded a rich assortment of dinosaurs, particularly of the large variety.
Several groups of scientists from other countries worked there in the past. Americans, Russians and Poles were most successful.
This time, the Mongolian side has given preference to cooperation with Czech scientists before Americans, Germans and Swiss. Vice-president of the Czech-Mongolian Economy Chamber Dashdavaa Jargalsaikhan explained this by an effort to continue excellent relations that Mongolia had with the former Czechoslovakia and that have slightly cooled in the recent years.
He said that he himself had graduated from the Charles University Natural Sciences Faculty that is preparing the expedition and that many Mongolian politicians studied in Prague.
Apart from dinosaurs, the expedition will explore minerals in which dinosaur fossils are found.
One of the goals of the Czech scientists is to acquire a full dinosaur skeleton for the History of the Earth Museum which is being created. It is not yet clear whether a skeleton will be bought or whether it will be a gift from the Mongolian government.
The expedition will be funded from private sources, Kostak said, adding that a dinosaur skeleton that should receive adequate premises in the museum should stimulate the donors.
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