(This post originally appeared March 21 and has been updated today, March 23. See bottom of article. T.C.)
A 9-foot long complete dryosaurus skeleton, excavated in 1993 in southern Wyoming, is the most important item up for bid at a New York City auction this weekend. The 150 million-year-old Jurassic Era dinosaur is expected to fetch up to a $500,000 hammer price.
The I.M. Chait Gallery will auction the skeleton, which is being sold by a Utah-based research and excavation group, Western Paleontological Laboratories. The lab excavates dinosaur remains for research and puts others up for sale. Tough economic times are prompting the sale.
The dryosaurus skeleton is very rare because it is completely intact. Dryosaurus was a smaller dinosaur, often hunted and eaten by much bigger Jurassic creatures. It’s more common to find dryosaurus bones scattered about. This skeleton also possesses a fully intact skull.
Who buys dinosaur bones? I’m thinking Michael Jackson, but the Utah laboratory says it hopes the Wyoming dryosaurus will find a home at a museum, where research on the skeleton’s history can continue.
UPDATE: CNN has reported that the Wyoming dryosaurus was a no-sale item at this weekend’s NYC auction. Two museums are reportedly interested in the ancient dinosaur, but bidding did not meet reserves. A teenage Siberian woolly mammoth took top prize.