A roaringly unique investment: this mystery dinosaur will be auctioned in Lyon
Aguttes will auction a pre-historic lot estimated at £1.57m in June
A unique fossilised dinosaur skeleton will go up for auction in Lyon on 4 June, estimated to go for £1.57m. The dinosaur skeleton, which is an uncategorised carnivorous species similar to a therapod, is remarkably intact, and will be the first auction of such a specimen destined for scientific study.
Listed by Aguttes auction house, the skeleton stands at an impressive nine metres and is complete with 70% of the original bone conserved. Buyers will have the opportunity to make history by naming the dinosaur. The fossil was discovered during an unearthing carried out in 2013 at a site on the Morrison Formation in the western United States, an Upper Jurassic geological sequence laid down 155–148 million years ago, which still remains one of the world’s richest sources of dinosaur fossils.
“My estimate for this dinosaur is €1.2m to €1.8m. The price for such a rare item can climb very fast because this is a still unknown dinosaur to which the buyer can give his name.” said Eric Genest of Auguttes.
Eric Mickeler, expert consultant for the sale, agreed: “The discovery of this specimen probably represents the high point of my career, so significant are its scientific implications.”
While it was being prepared by European specialists back in 2016, Belgian scientists Pascal Godefroit, and Simone Maganuco of the Museum of Natural History in Milan, observed major anatomical differences in the fossil's structure compared to categorised therapods. The lot has more teeth and a more substantial pelvis with a broad suture between the pubic bones, while its shoulder blades are more elongated.
The sale of this fossil follows an increasing trend for pre-historic investments. In December 2016 Aguttes sold the skeleton of an Allosaurus dinosaur for £986,199, and a mammoth skeleton for £479329 in the same month.