Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Mystery dinosaur skeleton sells for over $2 million at Paris auction

The skeleton of an extremely rare form of dinosaur has been sold for more than €2m (£1.8m) at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

A dinosaur fossil is on display at the Eiffel tower, in Paris, France, June 2, 2018 ahead of its auction on Monday.

The bones of what scientists believe to be "probably a new species" of the carnivorous allosaurus were discovered during a dig in Wyoming in the United States in 2013.

The auction house said that the anonymous new owner will be allowed to choose a name for the dinosaur - "as long as it's scientific, and subject to peer review".

Aguttes auction house conducted the sale. They warned that scientists may be unable to study it, and that placing monetary value on the skeleton may make it more hard for paleontologists in the field.

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An nearly complete dinosaur skeleton from 150 million years ago has been sold to a private buyer at an auction in Paris for €1.6m (£1.4m; $2m).

The sale had been expected to fetch up to $US2.1 million ($2.7 million), but the end result was just over $US2.3 million ($3 million).

French auction house Aguttes, which had previously sold a mammoth skeleton and that of another dinosaur, had said before Monday's sale that the buyer might be able to name the new species, sparking objections from a USA scientific association.

Some in the scientific community, including those at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Bethesda, MD, expressed concern to Science prior to the auction about selling the skeleton to a private individual.

A portion of the sale's proceeds will go to charities benefiting endangered species, including the Sea Shepherd and Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center in South Africa.

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