Mystery Dinosaur Fossil Auctioned for $2.3 Million

The dinosaur fossil belongs to an unidentified species, and paleontologists hope its new owner donates it to a museum.

Theropod A Carnivorous Dinosaur Skeleton Is Displayed At The Eiffel Tower Prior To Be Sold On Auction
Getty ImagesChesnot

A skeleton of an unknown dinosaur has , going to an unknown bidder who paid more than $2 million for the mystery fossil. The status of the skeleton is now uncertain, with many paleontologists hoping it winds up in a museum for further study.

The skeleton was discovered in Wyoming in 2013, and at first, scientists thought it was the remains of an allosaurus or similar dinosaur. Closer examination revealed subtle differences such as the number of teeth. The conclusion: It was almost certainly an unidentified species of dino.

Theropod A Carnivorous Dinosaur Skeleton Is Displayed At The Eiffel Tower Prior To Be Sold On Auction
Getty ImagesChesnot

The skeleton stands 30 feet long and 9 feet high and is approximately 70 percent complete. On Monday, it was put up for auction at the first floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where it was sold for $2,360,389. The buyer has chosen to remain anonymous, and the fate of the skeleton remains unknown.

At least one group of paleontologists, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, expressed concern over the auction and wrote a letter to the auctioneers asking them to cancel, citing concerns about where a priceless fossil might end up.

If the skeleton is donated to a museum, it will give scientists a chance to study it up close and learn more about this unknown species. Let’s hope whoever bought it does the right thing.

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