Sotheby’s first natural history sale which was recently held in Paris must surely have attracted a number of Paleontologists. The highlights of this sale were a number of fossilized skeletons. In fact, the top sale of the night was an Allosaurus skeleton from Wyoming which fetched a cool €1.3 million ($1.8 million) – a record in Europe for a dinosaur skeleton. The Allosaurus was a theropod, and has sometimes been dubbed the ‘Jurassic T-Rex’. The T-Rex was a ferocious carnivore with huge, articulated jaws, lined with some 70 curved teeth in its days. Its short front limbs, each with three deadly claws, were used to tear up its victims’ flesh. The 33 foot, 70% complete specimen suggests it was a female.
Other fossilized skeletons that fetched high sums include a rare skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Tichorinus) from Siberia, complete with its original horn, which was sold to French collector Gérard Reynaud for €96,750 ($134,700) and a complete skeleton of a Plesiosaurus (Cryptocleidus sp.) that fetched a cool €456,750 ($635,890).
Besides fossilized skeletons, wall plaques of a fossilized palm-leaf, Sabalites sp. and a petrified oak ‘butterfly’ plaque from Oregon also managed to generate high sums at this sale.