A mysterious species of a dinosaur skeleton was recently sold at an auction in Paris for over two million dollars. The skeleton is 150 million-year-old, and according to some paleontologists, the winning bidder could even have a say in naming the new species.
The ancient remains were found in 2013, at Morrison Formation site, Wyoming. It measures 30 feet long and 9 feet high and, according to paleontologist Eric Mickeler, “the skeleton is 70% complete. This is remarkable to have such a large amount of original fossilized bones.”
Mickeler is also the expert for valuation at the French auction house Aguttes. He said that experts haven’t yet documented this species:
“Scientists first thought it was an allosaurus, but after an in-depth examination, the skeleton presented major anatomical differences from known allosaurs – notably more teeth and distinctive bones.”
The paleontologist also said that this specimen lived a long life:
“Looking at them [the bones], we can tell this carnivorous dinosaur died at an old age.”
He also added that researchers should study the skeleton better and see if it is indeed a discovery of an undocumented species.
The SVP Asked The Auctioneers to Cancel The Auction
The global paleontological organization – Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP – Bethesda, Maryland) represents over 2,200 paleontologists from all over the world. The organization wrote a letter to the auctioneers at Aguttes to convince them of canceling the auction. Paleontologists are concerned that these exceptional remains will fall into private hands and won’t get to public repositories.
Mickeler admitted that not many museums can purchase the skeleton, but he hopes that the owner will put it on display:
“Based on my experience, I believe it will end up in a museum. When private enterprises or sponsors buy a dinosaur’s skeleton, they usually donate it or make a permanent loan to public institutions”.
The new owner of the dinosaur skeleton remained anonymous, spending $2,360,389 on it. Part of the profit will go to Sea Shepherd and Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre to help preserve endangered species.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere