Monday, December 04, 2006

Dinosaur nest sells for $420,000

From BBC News

A 65m-year-old nest of dinosaur eggs has sold to an unnamed buyer at auction in Los Angeles for $420,000 (£212,000).
The nest contains 22 broken eggs, 19 of which are in embryonic form, with some of the tiny raptors clearly visible.

The nest was discovered in Guangdong, southern China, in 1984 and scientists there had appealed to Bonhams not to allow the auction. A Chinese dinosaur expert quoted on state news agency Xinhua said the nest should be returned for research.

The top estimate by auction house Bonhams & Butterfields for the nest was $220,000 but it almost doubled that. The name of the buyer would not be released, the auction house said.

The nest, encased in sandstone, dates to the Cretaceous-era and was sold in 2003 to an American collector, who restored it.Xing Lida, a dinosaur expert with the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, had urged Bonhams not to proceed with the auction.

He said Chinese fossils were often broken up to make them easy to conceal and carry out of the country, destroying important scientific information. Xinhua quoted a dinosaur expert at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Gerald Grellet-Tinner, as saying the nest should be housed in a museum in China.

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