From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Misty the dinosaur sold in UK auction
Diplodocus skeleton discovered in Wyoming by palaeontologist’s sons snapped up for £400,000
Sam Jones and agency
Wednesday 27 November 2013 17.42 GMT
Even in a catalogue crammed with such weird and poignant wonders as a gang of card-playing stuffed squirrels, the mocked-up skeleton of a miniature centaur, a dodo‘s leg bone and the preserved body of a giant tortoise reputed to have shuffled off its shell at the grand old age of 255, Misty was always going to be the prize lot.
On Wednesday, four years after her magnificent bones were chipped from the hard rock of northern Wyoming where they had lain for at least 150,000 millennia, the diplodocus’s skeleton sold for £400,000.
Misty – short for the “Mystery quarry” where she was unearthed – is thought to be the first large dinosaur skeleton to be auctioned in Britain.
The 4-metre high (14ft), 16.5-metre (55ft) skeleton was found almost intact in 2009 after Raimund Albersdörfer, a slightly harassed German palaeontologist busy excavating a quarry in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, told his two sons to leave him alone and try exploring nearby.
After a few hours of steady digging, Benjamin and Jacob returned and announced that they had found a bone so big they couldn’t carry it.
Nine weeks later, Misty had emerged, bone-by-bone, from the rock and had been wrapped in plastic and taken to a conservation lab where she was prepared for her journey to Holland.
Once in Europe, she was handed over to master dinosaur builder Aart Walen, who mounted her bones on a frame.
“There are probably about six of these in the great museums of the world, including in Pittsburg and Washington,” he said.
“You are talking about a very rare item indeed. Even if you were lucky enough to find one in the first place, the digging out and the preparation then involved is an enormous undertaking.
Extracting Misty from her stony mattress, he added, would have been a difficult and time-consuming task in itself.
“The rock that it was embedded in would have been extremely hard to break away from the bones, and you couldn’t go at it with a sledgehammer because the bones were vulnerable to breaking.”
Dutch NOS TV reports that the buyer of this animal is “a public institution which wants to exhibit the dinosaur”. So, good news. The diplodocus is apparently not disappearing behind the walls of some billionaire’s mansion, inaccessible to scientists and to the public.
Fossilized feces shows some dinosaurs gathered in ‘poop groups,’ like elephants or camels: here.
- Looking for an unusual Christmas gift? Misty the diplodocus could be yours (for £600,000) (metro.co.uk)
- Diplodocus skeleton to be auctioned (bbc.co.uk)
- Rare diplodocus dinosaur sells for $650,000 at British auction (reuters.com)
- Giant skeleton of a dinosaur sold for £450,000 (itv.com)
- Misty the dead diplodocus sells for $650,000 (haaretz.com)
- Misty the dinosaur sells for £400,000 at auction (telegraph.co.uk)