The Camptosaurus is expected to fetch $1.2 million
Instead of seeing dinosaurs at a museum or on the big screen, a fan with very deep pockets can actually own one.
A mostly complete skeleton of a Camptosaurus from the late Jurassic Period — which dates back to about 150 million years ago — is scheduled to go up for auction in Paris on Oct. 20. According to Hôtel Drouot, the historic auction house handling the sale, the dinosaur nicknamed Barry is expected to sell for up to $1.2 million.
"It is an extremely well-preserved specimen, which is quite rare," Hôtel Drouot's Alexandre Giquello told Reuters, adding that the skeleton — which was first discovered in Wyoming during the 1990s and is named after the paleontologist Barry James — is 80% complete.
"Barry is an adult specimen of Camptosauridae, belonging to the family Iguanodontidae, one of the first groups of dinosaurs discovered," Hôtel Drouot said of the fossil that measures over 6 feet tall and 16 feet long.
"Several theories have emerged on the representation of these animals," the auction house continued, adding that "the most prominent paleontologists clashed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries over the mode of locomotion and the points of balance of iguanodontids: were they bipedal or quadripedal? What did the position of their tails reveal about the way they moved? How has the natural environment influenced the development of the species?"
According to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Camptosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that walked either on its hind legs or all four of its limbs. It's also an ancestor of duck-billed dinosaurs.
While the auction house said that Barry will be its eighth dinosaur sale, these kinds of transactions are rare. According to BBC News, only a few of them occur worldwide.
In July, Sotheby’s held an auction that included the fossil of a pteranodon, a flying reptile from the Cretaceous period, ABC News reported. At the time, it was expected to fetch somewhere between $4 million and $6 million.
Also part of Sotheby’s auction was a fossil of a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that lived in the Jurassic Period. According to the auction house, that particular fossil was estimated to sell somewhere in the $600,000-$800,000 range.
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