diplodocus dinosaur sells for $650,000 at British auction
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[December 05, 2013]
LONDON (Reuters) — The skeleton of a
diplodocus dinosaur that roamed what is now the United States some 160
million years ago was sold for 400,000 pounds ($651,100) to an
unidentified public institution at an auction in Britain on Wednesday.
Misty, as the dinosaur was nicknamed, will later be put on public
display, the auctioneers said. It was found by the teenage sons of
German dinosaur hunter Raimund Albersdoerfer in Dana quarry in
Wyoming, in the western United States.
The auctioneers, Summers Place Auction, declined to disclose any
details about the buyer, who wished to remain anonymous.
"Finding a reasonably complete diplodocus of this size is extremely
rare," Errol Fuller, a natural history expert and curator of the
sale, told Reuters by telephone from West Sussex in England. "They
are only ever really found by luck."
The remains of the 17-meter (56-foot) female are among the few more or
less complete skeletons of diplodocus longus ever found. The sons of
the German paleontologist came across Misty's fossilized bones after
their father sent them to hunt another area because they were
distracting him from his own search.
"The children wanted to find their own bits and pieces, so he sent
them where he thought they might find a few fragments but nothing
really important, and they came back saying that they had found this
enormous bone," Fuller said.
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Since the discovery was made on private rather than Federal land, it
was possible for the German paleontologist to remove the fossils
from the United States. They were sent to Holland, where they were
cleaned and assembled, and then to the UK, where Misty was sold to
the owner who is about to take her to her new home. ($1 = 0.6144
(Reporting Silvia Antonioli; Editing by Larry King)