Rare dinosaur skeleton fails to sell at auction
Published 25/11/2015 | 07:06
A rare skeleton of a dinosaur which last roamed Earth up to 155 million years ago failed to sell at auction.
The 9.3ft-long (2.8m) near-complete juvenile Allosaurus was the first predatory dinosaur skeleton to come up for public sale in Britain, auctioneers said.
With its dagger-like teeth, the formidable Allosaurus lived during the late Jurassic period, and was one of the largest killing machines of its time.
Fully grown, it could reach 28ft (8m) in length, and it was only exceeded in size by its famous relative, the Tyrannosaurus Rex - a species that lived some 80 million years later.
The skeleton, which was expected to fetch between £300,000 and £500,000, went under the hammer in the Evolution sale at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.
But bidding stopped below the reserve price agreed with the seller, an auction house spokeswoman said.
She said those who missed out on bidding may still be able to buy it with a "reasonable" offer after the auction.
Experts described the juvenile specimen as having "the cute factor", and predicted it would attract buyers wanting an unusual statement piece for their living room.
In November 2013, Summers Place sold a long-necked Diplodocus longus skeleton to the Natural History Museum of Denmark for £400,000.
The skeleton was found almost completely intact in 2009 by the sons of renowned palaeontologist Raimund Albersdoerfer near a quarry in Wyoming in the United States.
Mr Albersdoerfer was also responsible for finding the Allosaurus at the same quarry, which led to a long and costly process to identify the species.
The dinosaur's ilium - part of its hip joint - was the first bone to be discovered in 2010, and it took three digging seasons to completely excavate it.