The skeleton of a diplodocus dinosaur that lived in what is now the United States some 160 million years ago was sold for $651,100 to an unidentified public institution at an auction in the UK.
Misty, as the dinosaur was nicknamed, will later be put on public display, the auctioneers said. It was found by the teenage sons of German dinosaur hunter Raimund Albersdoerfer in Dana quarry in Wyoming, in the western United States.
The auctioneers, Summers Place Auction, declined to disclose any details about the buyer, who wished to remain anonymous.
“Finding a reasonably complete diplodocus of this size is extremely rare,” Errol Fuller, a natural history expert and curator of the sale, told Reuters by telephone from West Sussex in England. “They are only ever really found by luck.”
The remains of the 17-meter female are among the few more or less complete skeletons of diplodocus longus ever found. The sons of the German paleontologist came across Misty’s fossilized bones after their father had sent them to hunt another area because they were distracting him from his own search.
“The children wanted to find their own bits and pieces, so he sent them where he thought they might find a few fragments but nothing really important, and they came back saying that they had found this enormous bone,” Fuller said.