Mystery dinosaur skeleton sells at Eiffel Tower auction for more than $2 million


(ABC NEWS)- The 150 million-year-old, largely-intact skeleton of a still-unknown species of dinosaur went to auction today in Paris and sold for more than two million dollars – and if paleontologists’ hunches prove true, the mystery winning bidder may get a chance to bestow a name on a previously undiscovered species.

The remains of the prehistoric predator – which is 30 feet long and 9 feet high – were discovered at Morrison Formation site in Wyoming in 2013.

“The skeleton is 70% complete,” paleontologist Eric Mickeler told ABC News while observing the skeleton. “This is remarkable to have such a large amount of original fossilized bones.”

Mickeler, the valuation expert for the French auction house Aguttes, said experts have never documented a species quite like this one.


“Scientists first thought it was an allosaurus, but after an in-depth examination, the skeleton presented major anatomical differences from known allosaurs – notably more teeth and distinctive bones.”

Whatever it proves to be, Mickeler said the the dinosaur lived a long life.

“Looking at them, we can tell this carnivorous dinosaur died at an old age.”

Still, Mickeler said that additional research will be required to confirm that the painstakingly reproduced skeleton is truly a fresh discovery.


Mickeler said that few museums don’t have the money to purchase such skeleton.

“I really hope the new owner will put it on display,” he said.

“Based on my experience, I believe it will end up in a museum. When private enterprises or sponsors buy a dinosaur’s skeleton, they usually donate it or make a permanent loan to public institutions”.

The new owner, who refused to be named publicly, purchased the dinosaur’s skeleton for the U.S. equivalent of $2,360,389.

Part of the sale profit will go to two charities fighting for the preservation of endangered species: Sea Shepherd and Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre.


Daniella Hankey

Daniella Hankey joined Newswatch as a Reporter. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to southern West Virginia from Florida to further pursue her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. Daniella was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Floridian. Her current interests include enjoying everything West Virginia has to offer, from outdoor adventures to the beautiful mountains and scenery. As a multi-trained journalist, Daniella is always prepared to cover the stories that matter to our viewers and help to keep her newly adopted community informed. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at

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