Rare Dinosaur skeleton pulled out of auction after questions over authenticity

Rare Dinosaur skeleton pulled out of auction after questions over authenticity

Earlier, the specimen was listed by the auction house as "museum standard" and "a world-class specimen".

A London-headquartered auction company withdrew its plans to auction a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton after revelations about alleged use of replica bones in the specimen came to the fore. The specimen was expected to fetch anything between $15 million to $25 million at its now-cancelled auction in Hong Kong later this month. 

“After consultation with the consignor of the Tyrannosaurus rex scheduled for sale on 30 November in Hong Kong, Christie’s has decided to withdraw the lot,” a spokesman for Christie’s, Edward Lewine, said in a statement. “The consignor has now decided to loan the specimen to a museum for public display.”

Christie's spokesperson reasoned that his auction house believed that the specimen, if not auctioned, will ensure that the scientific community would "benefit from further study". The development came days after a South Dakota-based lawyer for a fossil company reportedly informed the auction house about similarities between Shen and another Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, named Stan. Christie's had sold the specimen in 2020 for a record $31.8 million. 

Earlier, the specimen was listed by the auction house as "museum standard" and "a world-class specimen". 

Rare Dinosaur skeleton pulled out of auction after questions over authenticity
93-million-year-old crocodile found with the remains of a dinosaur in its stomach

Sales of dinosaur bones via auction can rake in millions. But such auctions remain the centre of criticism by palaeontologists, who say they often end up in private collections, away from researchers. 

About Tyrannosaurus rex

The word Tyrannosaurus literally means "king of tyrant lizards". Sized 40 feet long and 12 feet tall -- about the size of a school bus -- they were one of the most ferocious predators to ever walk on Earth. Scientists say that these dinosaurs likely preyed on living animals and scavenged carcasses, and sometimes even ate one another. About 66 million years ago, Tyrannosaurus rex disappeared from Earth in what is often cited as an unspecified mass extinction event.

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