Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Montana's "Dueling Dinosaurs" fail to sell at auction

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM

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A couple months ago the Indy published a cover story about the extraordinary discovery in eastern Montana of two dinosaur skeletons that had been buried together, entwined in what looked like a death match. In Montana Hodges' story, the "Dueling Dinosaurs," as the skeletons came to be known, provided an entry point into a tale of "ranchers struggling during economic recession, of warring principles and scientific feuds."

All of the drama was supposed to end with the sale of one of the highest-priced fossils ever offered on the open market. But that sale will have to wait.

The dinosaur skeletons failed to sell at auction in New York City yesterday. From The Associated Press:

A pre-sale estimate had predicted that the skeletons, offered as a single lot, could fetch between $7 million and $9 million — a price out of the reach of most museums. There were hopes that a wealthy buyer would donate the skeletons to a public institution, similar to how The Field Museum came to own Sue, a Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in South Dakota in 1990. The museum acquired Sue at a total cost of $8.36 million, including premium, with backing from McDonald's, Disney and other donors.

But the skeletons did not make the reserve at the Bonhams auction; the highest offer was $5.5 million. Auction officials said they remained hopeful that they'd find a buyer, possibly among institutions that had previously expressed interest.

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