A fossil hunter is being attacked for putting the skeleton of a baby Tyrannosaurus rex, who is said to be "the only one in the world", on eBay for a whopping $ 3 million.
It's not clear why archaeologist Alan Detrich, who discovered the 15-foot-long baby T. rex near Jordan, Montana, about six years ago, suddenly decided to put the skeleton in an auction earlier this month.
The 68-million-year-old dinosaur was still on display at the Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas at Lawrence when it was first listed on the e-commerce site. Detrich, a native of Kansas, donated the fossil to the museum in 2017. The museum said that since then it had cut ties with Dietrich and confirmed that it was not related to the sale after the customers' reaction.
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"The Museum of Natural History of KU does not sell or mediate the sale of specimens to individuals," said museum director Leonard Krishtalka in a statement. declaration. "As a result, the exhibit loan specimen for us has been removed from the exhibit and is being returned to the owner, and we have asked the owner to remove any badociation with us from its sale listing."
On eBay, Detrich describes baby T. rex as one of the types.
"This Rex was a very dangerous consumer of meat, in fact, it is a rare opportunity to see a REX baby, if they did not grow quickly, they could not catch prey and they would die." Histology shows that the specimen is approximately 4 years old after of death. ", he explained in a description of the list, and recognized the Vertebrate Paleontology Curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History for reconstructing the 21-inch skull. "Many of the bones are waiting to be identified, but every day more and more are labeled."
On average, 30 people see the publication every hour and hundreds more have been documented "watching" the sale at the same time. According to the list, expedited shipping worldwide would cost an additional $ 65,555.
Alan Detrich scored the 68-million-year T-Rex on eBay for nearly $ 3 million.
(eBay / Screenshot)
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Despite the interest, paleontologists are not happy with the idea that the skeleton can remain in a private collection indefinitely.
The Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology (SVP), a professional organization of scientists who advocate the preservation of vertebrate fossils, wrote an open letter to Dietrich last week criticizing his decision to sell the matchless skeleton.
"The [SVP] is concerned that the fossil, which represents a unique part of the past of life, may be lost from public trust, and because its owner used the scientific significance of the specimen, including its status as an exhibit in KU, as part of its advertising strategy, "the organization" These events undermine the scientific process to study past life, as well as the possibility of future generations sharing the natural heritage of our planet. "
The group argued that if the fossil is removed from public access, then the opportunity to study it more thoroughly is difficult, which could draw vital conclusions about the history of its bones.
"Scientific practice requires that the conclusions drawn from fossils be verifiable: scientists must be able to reexamine, re-measure and reinterpret them (such reexamination may occur decades or even centuries after the fact)," the SVP added, in part. "In addition, technological advances, new scientific questions and opportunities for synthetic research mean that new research often uses fossils that were originally collected for other purposes in mind."
Earlier this month, in an interview with The Wichita Eagle, Dietrich also marveled at the idea that paleontologists could learn more about the life of the fascinating creature.
"Science and paleontology is to live fast, to die young, to make a beautiful corpse. That's what this baby T. rex did: He died young and made a nice corpse, "Dietrich told the newspaper. But in doing so, we will learn things we did not know before. "
As of Wednesday morning, the baby dinosaur was still on eBay's list, but had not received any offers.