Almost every kid goes through a dinosaur-crazy phase. Well, six-year-old you would be doing backflips if they knew about this. Sotheby’s, the staid auction house, is selling a triceratops skull this week.
That’s right, the entire thing. It’s not fragments that have been combined to make up a whole skull. It’s a single unit of stone and bone, excavated from the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota.
Triceratops of the charts
You’re not just buying a dinosaur’s dome, though. It’s a substantial chunk of rock, weighing in at 200kg. So you’ll also get a stand along with it. It’s not the sort of item you can just mount on the wall after a quick trip to Builders. It stands a little under 2.5 metres high when on its stand.
But you don’t have to stop at just owning a skull. There’s also a complete Gorgosaurus going under the hammer at Sotheby’s on 28 July. If you’d like to stick one of these in your braai area, you can expect to pay up to R134 million ($8 million — the upper price range for this one). Odds are, these items will be snapped up by museums instead of private collectors. But you never know…
If buying the entire skull or skeleton of a long-extinct creature is a little rich for your blood, other items on offer are more affordable. Relatively speaking. You could drop R150,000 on a fossilised T-Rex tooth or R85,000 for a batch of fossilised sea urchins. If you want to, of course. The auction also contains a collection of individual Megaladon teeth, which are expected to go for between R34,000 and R135,000 a pop. Even better, there’s part of a Thagomizer available for around R420,000. A thagomizer, in case you don’t click links, is the official name for the spikes at the end of a Stegosaurus’ tail.