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The Daily Toad: Proudly disseminating sensationalised rubbish since 1645. 25th March 2008.

Palaeontologists agree to donate bodies to fossil record

the skeleton of 'lucy' the hominid

How today's paleontologist may look a million years from now

the Leakey family at play

A group of paleontologists discussing how best to enter the fossil record

Members of the World Palaeontologist Association yesterday agreed unanimously to donate their bodies to the fossil record, thereby hoping to increase study material for future Palaeontologists.

'The one thing we can all agree on is that there simply aren't enough fossils to go round,' explained Professor Black to a packed conference in Phoenix yesterday, 'and if we can somehow ensure a better supply of hominid remains to our descendants in a million or so years, we will have made a significant contribution to the science.'

The notoriously patchy fossil record of early hominids has been something of a problem in recent years, with complete skeletons and even large sections of cranial bone missing or non-existent. With the new 'Fossil Record Donor Card', this is all set to change.

'It is the Palaeontologist's responsibility to take active steps to ensure their own fossilisation,' continued Professor Black, handing out the small plastic donor cards yesterday, 'as a card-holder nears death, they should insist they be removed to a warm shallow sea and, upon expiration, be covered almost instantly by a heavy layer of sediment. If a shallow sea is impractical, a list of tar-pits will be made available from my office. Those that favour alluvial preservation will be encouraged to leap into a river in flood a few hundred yards upstream of a slow bend.'

The system looks set to be enthusiastically picked up, not least because a prize will be offered to those most perfectly preserved, with special merit certificates for maintaining an uncrushed cranium, or preserved soft tissues.

Josh Hatchett, reporting for The Toad.

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