Christie’s to hold Auction of Prehistoric Artefacts

Christie’s, the world famous auction house is holding another sale of prehistoric animal fossils and other ancient artefacts at their auction house in Paris.  This is one of a number of large scale fossil auctions that have been held around the world over recent years, as the interest in collecting rare specimens has grown.  A number of remarkable lots are up for auction and on public display to allow curious onlookers and serious bidders to view the items.

Included in the collection are a brood of baby dinosaurs and an adult (believed to the the mother or parent).  The dinosaur is a Psittacosaurus, a small member of the Marginocephalia, a dinosaur which has several species ascribed to this particular genus.  Also included in the sale are the reconstructed jaws of the huge prehistoric shark Megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon).

Megalodon is presumed to be one of the largest predatory sharks that has ever existed, so big in fact that its huge jaws could swallow a Great White Shark whole (Carcharodon carcharias).  Lengths of this huge fish are difficult to estimate, as since, like all sharks and rays, the animal’s skeleton was made of cartilage, very few body fossils are found.  However, this Pliocene predator may have reached lengths in excess of 16 metres.

The Reconstructed Jaws of a Megalodon up for Auction

Picture Credit: Associated Press

Although skeletal remains are exceptionally rare, the robust teeth are relatively easy to pick up from fossil dealers. Several species of large shark existed during the Miocene and Pliocene and the tough teeth fossilise well.  Sharks are able to shed teeth and have new ones grow up through the jaw to replace them, so a large shark would shed hundreds of teeth during its life time.  At Everything Dinosaur, we have a C. megalodon tooth specimen, found at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, USA.

An Illustration of a Megalodon Giant Shark

Giant Shark

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Giant sharks are certainly very popular with model collectors.  To the best of our knowledge, no model of a C. megalodon has been mass produced to date, so we supply a large scale, accurate model of a Great White Shark as a substitute.  Many scientists believe that the Megalodon was a close relative of the Great White and would have looked very similar.  Indeed, some fisherman believe that the Megalodon may not be extinct at all, still patrolling the warmer seas of the world, although most scientists pour scorn on this idea.

To view a model of a giant shark and dinosaur models: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Dinosaur Models

Due to popular demand, we have added a Megalodon soft toy to our prehistoric animal range, it seems that despite this animal’s fearsome reputation, children want to have a soft toy version of this prehistoric predator.

The Megalodon Soft Toy from Everything Dinosaur

Giant Shark Soft Toy

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the giant shark soft toy and dinosaur stuffed animals: Dinosaur Stuffed Animals

A number of auctions of this type have been held around the world in recent years.  A couple of years ago, such items fetched record amounts of money, but the economic downturn has curbed many people’s enthusiasm for prehistoric items and some auction lots have struggled to sell.

To read an article about another recent auction: Collectors pick up Prehistoric Bargains at Canadian Auction

Commenting on the lots available at the sale, Eric Mickeler, the specialist who organised the sale told a newspaper:

“Ever since ‘Jurassic Park’, sales of dinosaur teeth have had incredible success”.

We sincerely hope that Mr Mickeler was not refering to the Megalodon exhibit when he made this remark, sharks are not dinosaurs.

The auction house estimates that the reconstructed jaws will fetch between $200,000 to $240,000 USD.  A number of other interesting items are up for sale including fossils of Sabre Tooth Cats and a reconstruction of the European Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus) dating from the Pleistocene epoch.

A Reconstruction of a European Cave Bear

Cave Bear up for Sale

Picture Credit: Associated Press

The Cave Bear is depicted hunting salmon, it is thought that this large animal was omnivorous.  The reconstruction is certainly getting an admiring look from the young girl viewing the exhibit which is due to go under the hammer today.

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