One of the rarest dinosaur fossils, comprising a pair of duelling dinosaurs that died in mortal combat some 67 million years ago, could be lost to science when it is auctioned for private sale in November, scientists warned yesterday.
The well-preserved fossil includes the only remains of a new species of predatory dinosaur, which scientists have only just identified, as well as a herbivore which also died when the two creatures were locked together in a fearsome fight.
Bonhams, the London auction house, is to put the fossil on sale in New York this November and scientists said that it could be lost for future generations of researchers if, as expected, the fossil is sold to a private collector for the expected fee of between US$7 million ($8.7 million) and US$9 million.
"Its survival is based on whether or not the auctioneer's gavel is going to sell this to a museum where we can access it and complete the story," said Dr Philip Manning of the University of Manchester.
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