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Dinosaur bones sell for sky-high prices, why are scientists unhappy?


Auction house Christie’s said the fossil being auctioned was nicknamed “Hector.” This is the first public sale of fossils of Deinonychus, an agile bipedal dinosaur with vicious claws on its feet.It’s estimated to be more than double the $6 million price tag New York Times.

Without the movie, the dinosaur likely wouldn’t have gotten as much attention Jurassic Park. In the 1993 novel and movie, the beast known as “The Velociraptor” actually looked like Deinonychus. (Fiction author Michael Crichton admits the name “Raptor” sounds more dramatic.)

Dinosaur bones sell for sky-high prices, why are scientists unhappy? - 1. Photos

Dinosaur skeleton up for auction

Screenshot from The New York Times

Christie’s said the “Hector” skeleton contains 126 real bones, with the rest being reconstructed, including most of the skull.

According to Jared. Hudson, the skeleton dates back to about 110 million years ago, in the early Cretaceous period, about a decade ago when self-taught paleontologists Jack and Rob Ta Irwin excavated the skeleton from private land in the US state of Montana. Mr Hudson, a commercial paleontologist, obtained and prepared the specimens. It was then resold to its nearest owner, whose identity remains unknown.

The May 12 Christie’s auction continues to expand the list of fossil specimens for sale at high prices, rattling some paleontologists. They worry that if samples are purchased by private individuals or organizations rather than government organizations, scientists will have no samples to study.

World’s largest Jurassic dinosaur fossil unearthed

When Tyrannosaurus OK T. rex) was sold to the Field Museum in 1997 for $8.36 million (closer to $15 million in today’s prices). Recently, the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex nicknamed “Stan” sold for a record $31.8 million, nearly quadrupling its $8 million estimate.