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Mystery Dinosaur Skeleton Sold at Auction for $2.36 Million

Mystery Dinosaur Skeleton Sold at Auction for $2.36 Million
The a skeleton of an undeterminate carnivorous dinosaur is displayed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The unknown Theropod was auctioned Monday for more than $2.36 million. (Stephane de SakutinAFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 June 2018 05:44 PM

A mystery dinosaur skeleton was sold at auction for more than $2.36 million in France, but paleontologists are not happy with the sale. 

The skeleton was sold legally by auction house Aguttes, since it was dug up on private land in 2013 and belongs to the landowner, but some irregularities about the structure of the specimen have led to questions about whether it could be a new kind of dinosaur that hasn’t yet been discovered or studied.

With the skeleton going into a private collection and the buyer’s name unknown, it is unlikely scientists will be able to study it further. Because of this, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology asked last month for the sale to be canceled and the skeleton be “held in public trust,” but their request was rejected. 

Portions of the sale will be donated to two wildlife charities, CNN reported. The auction description suggested the buyer could name the specimen after themselves or a loved one, if the scientist who verifies the type of dinosaur agrees.

A series of valuable fossils has been sold by Aguttes, including an Allosaurus skeleton in 2016 for $1.32 million and a complete mammoth skeleton sold for $641,000 in 2017.

Museums cannot usually afford to spend enough money to buy specimens at auction, Live Science noted. The average cost to a museum for a dinosaur skeleton is about $10,000 for the excavation, about 200 times less than the specimen sold for at auction.

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A mystery dinosaur skeleton was sold at auction for more than $2.36 million in France, but paleontologists are not happy with the sale.
mystery, dinosaur, skeleton, sold, auction
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2018-44-05
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 05:44 PM
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