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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

hold on to your butts

Got a Big Living Room? Here’s a 75% Complete Tyrannosaurus Skeleton up for Public Auction

Okay, remember this morning when I said that a four thousand dollar rotating ring made out of meteorite with inlaid gems representing the planets of the Solar System would be the most expensive thing that I felt a desire for today?

Well, I lied. Because I hadn’t yet seen that there’s a phenomenally complete Tyrannosaurs skeleton going up for public auction soon, and it’s valued at $95,000.

What could possibly be the downside, you ask?

Well, on the one hand, it’s not a Tyrannosaurus Rex, so Sue, the Chicago Field Museum’s resident dinosaur twitterer and the last nearly complete skeleton of the family Tyrannosauridae to be put on auction shouldn’t feel that her value will be threatened. (She went for $8.3 million in 1997) It’s the Rex (a native of North America)’s Mongoliod cousin Tyrannosaurus Bataar, also known as Tarbosaurus.

On the other hand, if, as some experts claim, it’s literally a relative of the T. rex and not just figuratively one, Tarbosaurus might be abandoned as a genus all together in favor of lumping both under the heading of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Skeletons of any theropods are exceedingly rare. As the apex predator of their era, there were understandably few of them hanging out there at the top of the food chain, being supported by the rest of the ecosystem. There are very, very few complete Tyrannosaurus finds in history, and, as David Herskowitz, director of Natural History for the auction house in charge of the sale, rightfully says, it’s even more rare that any of them find their way to public action, and even more rare that one would get there after having been excavated, cleaned, and even mounted for display.

That’s right, the skeleton is already mounted. See! Perfect for your twelfth floor one bedroom. Of course, once you purchase it you’ll still be explaining to guests that it’s not technically a Tyrannosaurus rex. Better use the change you get after paying for the auction to start funding theropod research.

(via MSNBC.)


  • Stephanie Drumheller-Horton

    Not to be a party pooper, but there are other downsides, like the fact that it was almost certainly illegally collected and smuggled into the US for auction:

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  • Cassandra Marigold James

    Dammit! How will Harry Dresden go for Dino rides around Chiago now?!

  • Pinky Rodriguez

    That’s right, the skeleton is already mounted.

  • Yodosha

    As noted by Mark Norell of the American Museum of Natural History:
    “In the current catalogue Lot 49317 (skull of Saichania) and Lot 49315 (amounted Tarbosaurus skeleton) clearly were excavated in Mongolia as this is the only locality in the world where these dinosaurs are known. The copy listed in the catalog, while not mentioning Mongolia specifically (the locality is listed as Central Asia) repeatedly makes reference to the Gobi Desert and to the fact that other specimens of dinosaurs were collected in Mongolia…. There is no legal mechanism (nor has there been for over 50 years) to remove vertebrate fossil material from Mongolia. These specimens are the patrimony of the Mongolian people and should be in a museum in Mongolia. As a professional paleontologist, I am appalled that these illegally collected specimens (with no associated documents regarding provenance) are being are being sold at auction.”
    AND from the UK Daily Mail:
    “The 24ft long and 8ft high Tyrannosaurus bataar, a cousin of T-rex which lived around 80 million years ago, was found in Mongolia and acquired by the collector in 2005. AND David Herskowitz, director of natural history at Heritage Auctions in New York, said ‘The specimen was found over 10 years ago in the Gobi desert and is owned by a fossil collector from Dorset.”
    Since there has been no legal mechanism for removing fossils from Mongolia for over 50 years, it is clear that the material is CONTRABAND and the PATRIMONY of the people of Mongolia.