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Bob Strauss

Sotheby's Plans Huge Fossil Auction

By July 26, 2010

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Could it be that the dinosaur fossil market is poised for a rebound? After a couple of years in which many notable, well-preserved skeletons failed to meet their reserve price (I'm talking to you, Cliff the Triceratops!), Sotheby's of France is planning a huge dinosaur auction of, well, huge dinosaurs. According to The Independent, the famous auction house plans to gavel away both a complete, 33-foot-long Allosaurus skeleton (originally unearthed in Wyoming) and a complete, six-foot-long Plesiosaurus skeleton (much rarer, from Gloucestershire, England)). If you don't have the room in your apartment for one of these majestic beasts, you may want to consider a Dorygnathus (a genus of pterosaur) with a three-foot wingspan.

As for the prices these fossils are expected to command, well, The Independent plays it coy with Allosaurus (probably because Sotheby's doesn't want to be embarrassed by an unmet reserve price), but the other specimens mentioned above are list-tagged in the $500,000 range. If you're on a budget, though, you may want to set your sights lower--say, on an assortment of fossilized crabs from the early Eocene epoch, or some prehistoric fishes dating back 15 million years.

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