As far as dinosaur skeletons go, Barry the Camptosaurus ranks among the oldest and most complete.
The fossilized plant eater, which will go under the hammer at Hotel Drouot in Paris next month, dates back some 150 million years and is composed of more than 80 percent original bone. As a result, the rarity is expected to fetch between $855,000 and $1.28 million (€800,000 and €1.2 million) at auction on October 20.
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Barry was first discovered in Wyoming in the 1990s before he was later restored in 2000 by paleontologist Barry James, as reported by Reuters. (This explains the dinosaur’s name.) Italian laboratory Zoic carried out further restoration work on the skeleton after acquiring it last year to get it in line with current scientific standards.
“It is an extremely well-preserved specimen, which is quite rare,” said Alexandre Giquello of Hotel Drouot. “To take the example of its skull, the skull is complete at 90 percent and the rest of the dinosaur (skeleton) is complete at 80 percent.”
Measuring nearly 16 feet long and seven feet tall, Barry is part of the Iguanodontidae family, which was one of the earliest groups of dinosaurs to be discovered. The bones were unearthed in Wyoming’s fossil-rich Morrison Formation. It was quite an unusual discovery, as ornithopod dinosaurs represent about 14 percent of the specimens found in the area.
Despite some criticism from the scientific community, dinosaur bones have become coveted collectibles. In fact, six skeletons were auctioned off last year alone. The prized fossils attract eye-popping sums, too. Back in 2020, a T-Rex skeleton known as Stan hammered down for a record $31.8 million at a Christie’s sale before finding a permanent home in an Abu Dhabi museum. That makes $1.3 million seem like a steal.
If you’re interested in acquiring Barry or another dinosaur, be sure to do your due diligence and look into the skeleton’s provenance. The last thing you want is to end up with a dud.
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