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For years, herder Gelegrash had a sideline bringing tourists to see a dinosaur skull hidden near the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia's Gobi desert.It is one of thousands of ancient fossils that have disappeared from the country since American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews – supposedly the inspiration for the movie character Indiana Jones – discovered dinosaur eggs there nearly a century ago.Since Chapman Andrews' discovery, hundreds of expeditions have traveled to Mongolia to look for fossils, some with official blessing, others digging them out illegally and smuggling them out of the country.It is nearly impossible to prevent thefts from Mongolia's vast steppe, said Surenjav Munkhsaikhan, 31, who manages the national park where Chapman found the eggs.The Tarbosaurus bataar in New York – estimated to be 70 million years old – was far from the first fossil to leave Mongolia, but quickly captured the national imagination. Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj took the case directly to the U.S. government.The case ended in victory – two years after the suit was filed, the fossil headed home to Mongolia.
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