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Auction of dinosaurs sold in Mexico provokes controversy

In January, a 160 million-year-old Moroccan dinosaur tail was auctioned in Mexico. The fossil was then sold to an anonymous buyer for around $ 95,000.

Now, the Moroccan authorities have opened an investigation to determine if the fossil of the tail was transported illegally outside of Morocco. [19659004] The 13-foot-long tail belongs to a sauropod dinosaur genus called Atlasaurus and was discovered in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, a place known for its abundance of fossils. It was estimated that the dinosaur was about 17 meters long and weighed 22 tons.

The auction organizer said any amount above the reserve price was donated to a Foundation to help fund the reconstruction of some 5,000 damaged schools destroyed by a powerful earthquake in Mexico on September 19.

This is not the first time that Morocco authorities face such a situation. Last April, a skeleton of a 66-million-year-old marine dinosaur was also removed from an auction in Paris and returned to Morocco after the Moroccan Association for the Protection of the Geological Heritage requested the repatriation of the fossil. The fossil was exhibited on March 7 at the Drouot auction house in Paris.

"We will not stay with our hands crossed," said the director of Cultural Heritage in Morocco, Abdel√° Alaoui. "This is about our national heritage, there will be an investigation to discover how this fossil, of a species that only exists in Morocco, could leave the country."

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