For sale: 28-ft-long, 155 million-year-old carnivorous dinosaur skeleton
At 8.7 meters (28.5 ft) long and 2.6 meters (8.5 ft) high, and with a price tag somewhere north of US$1.5 million, this 155 million-year-old skeleton is not for everyone, but it is certainly one of the most impressive and imposing artifacts of natural history ever to go to auction.
This beast, believed to be from the Allosaurus family, but possibly from an entirely new branch of the Allosaurid family tree, originally called the Eastern Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming its home between 157 and 152 million years ago.
The first parts of the skeleton were found in 2013, and during 2014 and 2015 it was excavated from the rocks of the Morrison Formation in Johnson County, Wyoming.
In all, more than 70 percent of what can be seen is the original dinosaur bone of the same creature, with the skeleton being prepared in 2017 by European specialists.
For those concerned about the legal aspects of the skeleton, Aguttes auction house has handled this type of remarkable specimen before on several occasions and has enough experience to be able to assemble all the documents to make any buyer comfortable.
Every aspect of the origin of the specimen is legally authenticated and has all the supporting documents, its exact location of extraction with GPS point, the title of the owner of the land, the landowner's rights of ownership in the fossil remains, the excavation license, customs formalities and shipping.
The skeleton has all the paperwork so that it can be purchased, transported, loaned, resold, exhibited, reproduced by casting, disseminated, published, and constitutes a full exploitable financial and cultural investment. It is estimated by Aguttes that it will sell for between €1.2 million and €1.8 million (US$1.5 and US$2.2 million).
Aguttes' most recent dinosaur skeleton sale was in December 2016, when a nearly complete 7.5-m (24.6-ft) long and 2.5-m (8.2 ft) tall Allosaurus skeleton (pictured above) sold for €1,128,375 (US$1,191,740) in the French city of Lyon.The bones of that dinosaur were also found in 2013 in the Morrison Formation, not far from the discovery site of the current skeleton for sale. The main difference between the skeletons is that whereas the previous skeleton was clearly an Allosaurus, the new specimen for sale may be a previously unknown species.
Aguttes is one of the world's most renowned auction houses, but huge skeletons is one of its specialities, and in December, 2017 it sold the largest wooly mammoth skeleton ever to go to auction. The 15,000-year-old behemoth skeleton was 3.4 m (11 ft) tall, with a total length of more than 8 m (26 ft) and it is estimated that the living mammoth would have weighed more than 1,400 kg (3,086 lb).
The tusks alone were 3.32 m (10.9 ft) and 3.0 m (9.8 ft) long, weighing 76 kg (168 lb) and 62 kg (137 lb), respectively. The mammoth skeleton was estimated to sell for €450,000 to €490,000 and eventually fetched €548,250 (US$651,300). The Faena Hotel in Miami has a permanent showcase of the world's most expensive and best known wooly mammoth skeleton. Artist Damien Hirst's golden mammoth was sold for €11 million (US$13.6 million) at a charity sale in May 2014.