US to auction rare T-Rex skeleton

August 13, 2009
Paleontologist and Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientific preparer Alan Tabrum works on 65 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex "Samson" at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2004. The rare Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, among the most complete specimens in the world, is to go on the auction block, the auction house Bonhams & Butterfields has said.

A rare Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, among the most complete specimens in the world, is to go on the auction block in Las Vegas in October, the auction house Bonhams & Butterfields has said.

The T-Rex, which goes by the name "Samson," is believed to be some 66 million years old and was discovered in the midwestern state of South Dakota in 1992.

"We have been able to establish that we have approximately a 57 percent complete T-Rex, which means the third most complete ever found," said Thomas Lindgren, consulting co-director of Natural History in Bonhams & Butterfields.

"I think my estimate is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of six to eight million dollars," he said.

The owners of the 12-meter-long (39-foot-long) skeleton hope "a public museum or institution would actually be the buyer ultimately," he added.

In 1997, the of a T-Rex named "Sue," which were 73 percent complete, were sold for 8.3 million dollars.

Dozens of other fossils are also to be auctioned at the event, to be held in the Venetian hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

(c) 2009 AFP

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not rated yet Aug 18, 2009
This is a travesty. To risk losing "Samson" to private collector(s) is totally unacceptable behavior on the part of the Carnagie Museum. Shame on those decision makers. Are our public institutions, entrusted with caring for our cultural inheritance, going braindead? This is a public treasure and should never be sold to the highest private bidder. T. Rex is known from a mere handful of specimens and every gram of them is totally un-replacable and priceless!!!

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