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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 13:51 GMT
Customs row over dinosaur bones
Image: University of Portsmouth
Pterosaurs were flying in the skies about 150 million years ago
British diplomats had to intervene in India after a customs dispute involving a set of life-size replica dinosaurs.

The University of Portsmouth had sent the model pterosaurs bones by air freight to Mumbai but customs officers impounded the unusual cargo.

The items were only released after three days of discussions between the British Deputy High Commissioner and Indian officials.

The replica flying reptiles will now be displayed at Techfest 2007 in Mumbai.

It was potentially a major international incident in the making.
Dr David Martill, University of Portsmouth

Vicki Treadell, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai, said: "I am very pleased the pterosaurs have cleared customs.

"I think customs officials may not have been clear as to classification of such an arrival."

Dr David Martill, of the University of Portsmouth, said: "We had to negotiate for three days around the clock for the release of these creatures.

"The British Government also weighed in through the British Council in India.

"It was potentially a major international incident in the making. I think the customs officials became quite fond of the pterosaurs in the end and didn't want to let them go and were quite sad to see them leave."

Pterosaurs were giant flying reptiles which ruled the skies about 150 million years ago in the Mesozoic era.

Flying reptile mystery 'solved'
27 Jul 06 |  Science/Nature
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08 Sep 05 |  Science/Nature
Pterosaurs 'flew like birds'
28 Jan 07 |  Science/Nature

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