Fancy your own Edmontosaurus?

A geological hammer is perhaps the tool you would normally associate with fossils, but over recent years, another sort of hammer, the auctioneer’s, has become more prominent in the world of palaeontology.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada a collection of forty-five prehistoric fossils including dinosaur fossils will go up for auction.  Despite the global recession and the difficult economic times, some of the lots are expected to attract eye-watering bids.  After all, they stopped making dinosaur fossils, approximately 65 million years ago.

For Maynards, the auctioneers, this is the first time that they have held such an auction, and they are unable to put an estimate on how much money the sale of all 45 lots would bring.  However, one of the stars of the auction, a mounted, nearly complete skeleton of an Edmontosaurus (Hadrosaurine), is estimated to reach up to $1/2 million CDN.

A Scale Drawing of a Edmontosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Edmontosaurus was a large, duck-billed dinosaur of the late Cretaceous.  Fossils have been found in Canada and the western United States, it was named after the Canadian city of Edmonton, where many of this dinosaur’s fossils were first discovered.  It is estimated to have reached lengths in excess of 13 metres (auction specimen is 8.3 metres long), and may have weighed around 4 tonnes.  Thanks to the auction in Vancouver, you too can be the owner of an Edmontosaurus fossil skeleton – that is of course, if you have $500,000 CDN to spare.

With a price tag like that, it puts some of the dinosaur models and toys that we sell into the shade.  Still at least dinosaur models are a little easier to handle and store, for the Edmontosaurus specimen, an area at least 10 metres long will be required to display it properly.

The collection had been in Japan, now it is being sold off and amongst the lots are dinosaur eggs and a near complete skull of a Triceratops.  Maynards in Tokyo purchased the collection and arranged transport to British Columbia.  Whilst the lots were being prepared, the collection was put on display at a local science museum.  The exhibition was entitled “Fossils, Fins and Fangs: Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Life”.

A spokesperson for the auction was unable to estimate how much all the pieces would make in total, but added there had been a lot of interest from both private and public collectors.

He stated: “This is the first dinosaur collection we’ve ever handled so I have no idea what it’s worth.  But we’ve heard from collectors from Texas and the UK, as well as locally.”

Hopefully, some of the pieces will be purchased by museums and other public bodies so that the public can still view them and that scientists will get the chance to study them.

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