Dinosaur that inspired Jurassic Park velociraptor sells at auction


A dinosaur skeleton believed to be the inspiration behind the design of the velociraptor in the Jurassic Park films has sold for a whopping price.

Auction house Christie’s sold the Deinonychus antirrhopus remains last night, to an undisclosed buyer for $17.8 million (US$12.4 million).

Christies said the sale was more than double their estimated high of $8.5 million (US$6 million), according to The New York Times.

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Remains of a Deinonychus antirrhopus, the dinosaur believed to have inspired the velociraptor in Jurassic Park, have sold at auction. (Christies)

They said the dinosaur was nicknamed Hector and this is the first public sale of the Deinonychus species.

But with a recent trend in high-priced fossil sales, paleontologists are concerned specimens could be lost to science and the public if they continue to be bought by private individuals.

What remains of Hector’s skeleton dates back about 110 million years, to the Early Cretaceous period.

The specimen was excavated from private land in Montana about a decade ago by Jack and Roberta Owen, self-taught paleontologists, according to The New York Times, who spoke with Jared Hudson, a commercial paleontologist who bought and prepared the specimen prior to the most recent private buyer.

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The first Deinonychus fossils were discovered by the paleontologist John H. Ostrom in 1964, and he gave them the name, meaning terrible claw, after the sharply curved hunting claw he believed the dinosaur used to slash its prey.

His discovery set up the foundations for the way scientists understand dinosaurs today – with some being lizard-like, but others more bird-like; fast-moving and possibly warm-blooded and feathered.

Read the full article at: 9news.com.au


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