The fossil hunter burst because he put up the skeleton of the baby Tyrannosaurus rexa – who claimed to be "the only one in the world" – on eBay for a huge $ 3 million.
It is unclear why archaeologist Alan Detrich, who discovered a 15-meter baby T. Rex near Jordan, Mont. Six years ago, suddenly decided to put the skeleton on auction.
The 68 million-year-old dinosaur was still exhibited at the Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, when it was first listed on the e-commerce website. Detrich, born in Kansas, donated the fossil to the museum in 2017. The museum said he had interrupted his relationship with Dietrich since then and confirmed that he was not connected to the sale after the visitors responded.
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"The KU Natural Museum does not sell or mediate the sale of specimens to individuals," said the director of the museum, Leonard Krishtalka. statement. "Accordingly, an item on the item that was given has been removed from the exhibit and returned to the owner. We asked the owner to remove any connection with us from our sales list."
On eBay, Detrich describes the T. Rex child as unique.
"This Rex was a very dangerous carnivorous person, and this is the RARE opportunity to ever see a REX child if they do not grow fast, they would not be able to catch a prey and die. Histology shows that the specimen is about four years old," he explained in the description of the list, which he attributed to the curator of paleontology of vertebrates from the Natural Science Museum of Florida for the reconstruction of the 21-inch skull. "Many bones are waiting for identification, but are becoming more and more marked every day."
On average, it watches 30 people every hour, and hundreds have documented the "watch" of sales at the same time. According to the list, world fast delivery will cost an additional $ 65,555.
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Despite interest, palaeontologists are not happy with the idea that the skeleton could remain in a private collection for an indefinite period of time.
The Association of Paleontologists of Vertebrates (SVP), a professional association of scientists advocating the conservation of vertebrate fossils, wrote an open letter to Dietrich last week, criticizing his decision to sell an invaluable skeleton.
"The. T [SVP] is concerned that fossil, which represents a unique part of the past, can be lost from public confidence, and because its owner has used the scientific significance of the sample, including its status as an exhibition in the KU, as part of its advertising strategy, "" These events undermine the scientific process the study of past life, as well as the possibility that future generations will share the natural heritage of our planet. "
The group claimed that if the fossil was removed from public access, this hampered the possibility of further investigation, which could lead to significant conclusions about history from its bones.
"Scientific practice requires that the conclusions derived from fossils must be verifiable: scientists must be able to re-examine, re-measure and reinterpret (such studies may take place over decades or even centuries after this fact)," added the SVP . "In addition, technological advances, new scientific issues and opportunities for synthetic research mean that new research often uses fossils that were originally collected with other purposes in mind."
Earlier this month, in an interview with The Wichita Eagle, Dietrich also marveled at the idea that paleontologists could learn more about the life of a fascinating creature.
"Science and paleontology are alive fast, dead young people, make a beautiful body. That's what T. Rex did, he died young and made a beautiful body, "said Dietrich." But because he did, we will learn things that we did not know before. "
From mid-morning, the baby dinosaur was still on eBay but did not receive any offers.