Dinosaur fossils have been held as treasures by several museums across the globe. The precious remnants are hardly ever offered for sale and that’s why a listing of a baby T-rex on eBay has recently stirred a controversy of sorts. The ongoing auction on the site claims to offer what may be the only juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered for a whopping $2.95 million. However, it’s not the price but the sale as a whole that is being highly frowned upon by industry experts.
Several Paleontologists have openly condemned the offering for boosting the price of scientifically valuable specimens. The 68-million-year-old skeleton, christened, ‘Son of Sampson’ was first discovered in 2013 on private land in Montana by Alan Detrich. It was subsequently loaned to the KU Natural History Museum for more than a year. However, the T-Rex was ultimately removed from display and returned back to the original owner in the time to come.
In boycotting the sale, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) in an open letter said, “Only casts and other replicas of vertebrate fossils should be traded, not the fossils themselves.” SVP further added, “Scientifically important fossils like the juvenile tyrannosaur are clues to our collective natural heritage and deserve to be held in public trust.” Thomas Carr, a paleontologist, on the other hand, suspected that no one will be interested to buy the T-Rex as the asking price in his opinion is just ‘absurd’. Back in 2016 though, a similar T-Rex Skeleton was offered for $ 2.39 million while also piquing the interest of several takers. However, the fate of our baby Tyrannosaurus rex remains undecided for now!