Prosaurolophus maximus specimen and other Fossils go Under the Hammer
A number of exceptionally rare fossils are going under the hammer at an auction of palaeontological material and minerals at Sotheby’s Auction House in Paris. The highlight of this auction, is the mummified and almost complete remains of a hadrosaurine known as Prosaurolophus maximus.
This Late Cretaceous duck-billed dinosaur inhabited western North America and is known from approximately thirty fossils. The specimen up for auction is a near complete, mummified dinosaur excavated in Montana (United States). Measuring eleven metres long and with pieces of fossilised skin still attached to the ribs, the auction house estimates that this lot will reach a price of between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Euros. It seems that even in these times of austerity, museum quality dinosaur specimens will fetch extremely high prices.
Further highlights include a 175 million years old Suuwassea emiliae dinosaur . This was a Jurassic diplodocoid which was discovered in the USA. Scientists believe that it was closely related to Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus). The auctioneers, specialists in handling and dealing with scientific lots estimate that this mounted sauropod specimen will fetch between 900,000 and 1. 2 million Euros. There are only two specimens of this kind of dinosaur known in the world.
The last major piece is a ninety-eight percent complete Tenontosaurus from the Early Cretaceous period and estimated to fetch between 600,000 and 700,000 Euros. There are two species assigned to the Tenontosaurus genus (T. tillettorum and T. dossi). Once classified as a hypsilophodont, this herbivorous dinosaur has been re-classified as a primitive iguanodont.
A Drawing of Tenontosaurus (CollectA Dinosaurs)
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
To view a model of Tenontosaurus and other dinosaur models in the CollectA range, visit: CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animals (Prehistoric Life).
In addition to the mounted skeletons of these plant-eating dinosaurs, a total of eighty-five items from private and public European and American collections are also being displayed prior to their sale. Dinosaur fans, both with and without money to bid on these treasures, can admire the exhibited pieces as they are on show in Paris in readiness for the auction.
At Everything Dinosaur, we are always very worried when such auctions are held. Although a number of specimens may be purchased by public bodies many auction lots will be purchased by private collectors, who often deny scientists the chance to study these fossils. There has been a big increase in the demand for fossil specimens over the last five years or so. Many extremely important finds have been purchased by private collectors who have subsequently prevented palaeontologists from studying these fossils.