Rare dinosaur skeleton sells for €2 million

The skeleton of an undeterminate carnivorous dinosaur, which fetched €2 million at auction, on display, on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 04 June 2018
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Rare dinosaur skeleton sells for €2 million

  • The bones of what scientists believe to be “probably a new species” of the carnivorous allosaurus were discovered during a dig in Wyoming in the United States in 2013.
  • The 150-million-year-old skeleton, which is 70 percent intact, was snapped up by an unnamed French art collector, who promised that the specimen will be lent out to a museum.

PARIS: The skeleton of an extremely rare form of dinosaur sold for more than €2 million ($2.3 million) at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Monday.
The bones of what scientists believe to be “probably a new species” of the carnivorous allosaurus were discovered during a dig in Wyoming in the United States in 2013.
The 150-million-year-old skeleton, which is 70 percent intact, was snapped up by an unnamed French art collector, who promised that the specimen will be lent out to a museum.
The buyer “wants it to be on display in a French museum,” auctioneer Claude Aguttes told AFP.
The dinosaur, which is more than nine meters (30 feet) long and 2.6 meters high, lived during the late Jurassic period, said Eric Mickeler who works for the Aguttes auction house.
He said it was the “only one of its species” to have yet been discovered.
Dinosaur expert Eric Geneste had earlier told AFP it was impossible to “classify the skeleton yet as a allosaurus” because it was more robust, “with longer shoulder blades and a different number of teeth.”
“In fact there are as many differences between it and an allosaurus as between a human and a gorilla,” he added.
Japanese and Swedish telephone bidders also tried to buy the dinosaur, pushing the bidding above the €1.8 million estimate.
The same French auction house sold an allosaurus called “Kan” for €1.1 million in 2016.
Mickeler said that “herbivores do not quite excite businessmen who buy dinosaurs the same way as carnivores do. They want to buy carnivores like themselves.”
Part of the proceeds of the sale of the skeleton by a British collector will go to toward funding further archaeological digs.


Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

Updated 20 September 2019

Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

  • In a previous speech lambasting the Catholic clergy, a fly kept buzzing around him and landed on his forehead
  • While attacking the political opposiion during an election campaign, a big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.
A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.
The reptile’s persistence caused laugher in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.
“You brought a gecko here?” he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.
Geckos are common across Southeast Asia. The small lizard-like reptiles are known for their ability to produce various loud sounds, from barks to chirps, to communicate or when threatened.
While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.
A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.
Two months later, a fly kept buzzing around him and landing on his forehead, just as he was berating his rivals in the Catholic clergy. He said in jest that the fly was acting on their orders.