Bonhams and Butterfields Auction of Rare Prehistoric Items

The latest prehistoric relics and strange object auction took place last Thursday at Bonhams and Butterfields auction house (New York).  If you have ever fancied owning your very own mounted, fossil skeleton of a Woolly Rhino or perhaps the skull of a Cave Bear then the New York auction house on Madison Avenue was the place to go.  Dinosaur fossils were also represented including a tooth from a T. rex that scientists believe was swallowed by another dinosaur.

For space fans there were meteorites and other rare minerals and rock on which to place bids.  For us, one of the highlights of the auction was the fully mounted and almost complete fossilised skeleton of a fearsome fish predator from the late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway.

This fishy lot consists of the beautifully preserved specimen of a Xiphactinus (pronounced zie-fak-tin-us), a bony fish that was streamlined and powerful hunter of the Late Cretaceous.  The mouth of Xiphactinus could open very wide, and fossils of this bony fish have been found with the remains of smaller fish that had been swallowed whole.  These carnivores could reach lengths of up to 6 metres long, about as long as a Great White Shark.

The Xiphactinus Specimen up for Auction

Picture Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP

However, don’t expect to snap up this particular exhibit for small fry, the auctioneers estimate that this lot will sell of around £120,000 GBP

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