Dinosaur skeletons headed to auction, not museum

tags: NYT, Montana, dinosaurs, paleontology, Hell Creek



Many paleontologists agree that two fossilized dinosaur skeletons found in the Hell Creek formation in Montana might be a major discovery.

The fossils apparently show two dinosaurs locked together in mortal combat in a Cretaceous-era grave, an example of fighting that could provide a rare window into dinosaur behavior.

Perhaps more important, each of the skeletons may be a new kind of dinosaur — a Nanotyrannus lancensis, a type of pygmy T. rex, and a Chasmosaurine ceratopsian, a close relation of the Triceratops.

But scientists may never know for sure. Going against the hopes of many paleontologists, these two nearly complete skeletons, found by commercial prospectors on a private ranch, are not going directly to a museum for further study. Instead, billed as the “Montana dueling dinosaurs,” they will be auctioned in November by Bonhams in New York, for a projected price of $7 million to $9 million, which would be one of the highest prices ever paid for dinosaur fossils....




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