Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Rare Dinosaur Skeleton Sold Off At Paris Auction For More Than $2 Million

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PARIS: Initially believed to belong to an allosaurus species, the extremely rare dinosaur skeleton is actually the first of its kind ever discovered and is ‘probably a new species.’

A mysterious dinosaur skeleton fetched more than $2 million at a Paris auction organized by Auctioneers Aguttes on June 4.

Originally estimated to be worth up to €1.8 million, the specimen was sold off to an unnamed private collector for the U.S. equivalent of $2,360,389.

 Displayed on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, the extremely rare dinosaur skeleton dates back to the late Jurassic period and is 150 million years old.

According to paleontologist Eric Mickeler, who evaluates specimens for the French auction house, the exhibit is believed to be “probably a new species” of Jurassic carnivore that is yet to be designated and cataloged by science.

Standing 9 feet tall and measuring 30 feet in length, this never-before-seen dinosaur skeleton — the “only one of its species,” notes Mickeler — was initially mistaken for an allosaurus, a large carnivorous dinosaur that walked on two legs and thrived during the late Jurassic.

The newly sold dinosaur skeleton was discovered in Wyoming in 2013. Unearthed from the Morrison Formation site, the specimen is largely intact and has 150 bones, tipping the scale at around 1,760 pounds.

As Mickeler points out, the find is truly spectacular, as dinosaur skeletons in such a nearly complete state seldom turn up in most paleontological discoveries.

Because this is the first specimen of its kind that has ever been found, its new owner might get to have a say in what the new dinosaur species will be called.

“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,” said Mickeler.

 

Aside from the different number of teeth, one of the major differences between an Allosaurus and this particular dinosaur skeleton is that the latter has a more robust stature and longer shoulder blades, said dinosaur expert Eric Geneste.

The media outlet reports that the mystery winning bidder has promised not to keep the precious fossil all to himself and intends to lend it to a museum.

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