Diplodocus skeleton to be auctioned

November 27, 2013
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Dinosaur fossil up for sale  in Sussex

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Errol Fuller from Summers Place Auctions looks at the diplodocus fossil

A diplodocus skeleton, which is believed to be one of only six relatively complete specimens in the world, will be auctioned later.

The 17m-long (56ft) dinosaur was dug out of a quarry in Wyoming, US, before being assembled in Rotterdam.

It was then taken to Summers Place Auctions, in Billingshurst, West Sussex, where it is expected to make between £400,000 and £600,000.

The Natural History Museum has ruled itself out of bidding for the skeleton.

The dinosaur, named Misty, was discovered by the teenage sons of German palaeontologist Raimund Albersdoerfer.

They had travelled to the US to help their father dig up a different skeleton before being allowed to try and find their own fossils. It was then they came across the diplodocus.

‘Sorry to see her go’

The Natural History Museum, in London, said it would not buy the dinosaur despite its famous diplodocus only being a cast of one displayed in Pittsburgh.

And that skeleton cast is itself made up of two different diplodocuses.

Auctioneer James Rylands said: “We will be sorry to see her go – the downside of being an auctioneer is that once you’ve sold something you very seldom get to see it again.

“Hopefully this won’t be the case with Misty. It’s more likely to be bought by a museum.

“There’s a fast developing museum market in Asia and the Middle East.

“The other big thing is upmarket shopping malls or hotels, especially in the US, because of their high ceilings and atriums.

“Within the context of a shopping mall you can make a real wow statement.”

The auction is expected to begin at 14:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Diplodocus skeletonThe diplodocus was assembled in Rotterdam before being taken to Sussex to be auctioned

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