The fossil of an extremely rare baby T-Rex has been listed for sale on eBay with a “buy it now” asking price of $2.95 million. Fossil hunter Alan Detrich posted the relic on the auction site hoping to attract the attention of a wealthy collector.
Understandably, researchers all around the world were not very happy with Detrich’s decision to sell the bones. The issue with Detrich’s listing isn’t so much that dinosaur bones shouldn’t be sold, but because they are very important and should be examined.
The controversial eBay listing was titled:
“YOUNG (BABY) T-REX TYRANNOSAURUS DINOSAUR FOSSIL HELLS CREEK MAYBE ONLY 1 TREX.”
Posted under the account name “pirategoldcoins,” the bones as advertised belong to part of a young T-Rex believed to have been 15 feet tall with a 21-inch skull and 12 serrated teeth in its lower jaw. The bones are estimated to be 68 million years old and were first unearthed by Detrich on private property in Montana back in 2013. The professional fossil hunter also noted that the specimen is “likely the only baby t-rex in the world!”
The 68-million-year-old fossil was displayed in the University of Kansas’ (KU) Natural History Museum, according to the listing. Some are accusing Detrich of lending the specimen to the University of Kansas in an effort to gain public interest before posting it for sale online.
Despite all the outburst, Detrich is the rightful owner of the specimen as he was the one who found it on private land in Montana. With that said, he can do anything he wants with them.
However, news that the rare bones were being sold on the merchant platform online did not go over so well with paleontologists.
A scathing public letter issued by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) criticized the sale and deemed Detrich’s behavior an example of humanity’s loss of understanding and respect for our origins.
The letter read:
“Only casts and other replicas of vertebrate fossils should be traded, not the fossils themselves. Scientifically important fossils like the juvenile tyrannosaur are clues to our collective natural heritage and deserve to be held in public trust.”
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