Thursday, July 21, 2011

Skeletons of dinosaurs sell for $2.75m

The skeletons of three large dinosaurs are among a treasure trove of natural history artifacts that have sold at a sole auction in Dallas.

The quality stars of the Heritage Auctions bidding were a "fighting pair" of dinosaur skeletons that sold to a museum for $2.75 million (£1.7m), and an enormous, 19-foot-long triceratops that fetched $657,250 (£400,000) from a private collector.

The sale included more than 200 items, including meteorites, minerals and other fossils.

The fighting dinosaurs - an allosaurus and a stegosaurus - were offered mutually because of their discovery in a Wyoming quarry with the jaw of the allosaurus wrapped around the leg of the stegosaurus, leading to speculation that the two were engaged in a predator-prey battle.

Heritage Auctions declined to reveal which museum picked up the pair, though the organisation did say the museum was outside the United States.

"I'm ecstatic that 'the fighting pair' establishes such a great home," David Herskowitz, director of natural history at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement. "These are important and iconic Jurassic-era specimens, which science did not even know existed together at the same time, and now they will be going to a final end where the public will get to enjoy them and where they will be of maximum benefit to science."

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