T. Rex Sells for Mega Bucks
The famous Tyrannosaurus rex specimen went at auction for $31.8 million on October 6. https://t.co/gdVKyNABJc
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) October 16, 2020
Health Editor’s Note: Just who does own fossils? Is it the people whose land those fossils were found on? Like mineral rights? Is the owner the person who ‘finds’ the fossil. Certainly, often the fossil is named after them. If you are willing to spend mega bucks should you be able to buy an important scientific discovery and then lock it away from science?
This 67-million-old fossil of a T. rex, Stan, was estimated to sell at auction for $6 million to $8 million, but in fact was sold for $31.8 million. Countless academic studies have been done on Stan, which makes him the most researched T. rex skeleton of all time.
It is unclear who bought Stan. The hope is that he will not be kept away from further research opportunities and be cut off from the paleontology world. Many governments have natural history heritage laws which protect significant from being privately owned. The U.S. only protects and requires a permit for fossils found on federal land. Fossils found on private land can be used as the land owner wishes; sold as a whole or in pieces, given to a museum, even destroyed.
Should dinosaur hunting be for science of for making money? Should these fossils end up only in the homes of the wealthy who can afford to buy them?…Carol