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Re: dinosaurs, sharks, and entelodonts up for auction
(Denver's message was originally sent to Vrtpaleo, but the DML wasn't
discussing the auction until it was over.)
In a message dated 10/3/2009 12:15:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
< Wow, those Einiosaurus mounts look really awful, with heavily (badly)
reconstructed skulls. They'd be a bad deal at 1/10th of the price.>
They are from Canada Fossils. "Xenia" is supposedly 75% complete, with
the skull being about 85% complete. "Ben" is only 40% complete.
Nevertheless, they did sell:
"A pair of a less-known species of dinosaurs related to the triceratops,
sold for 440,000 dollars -- below the 500,000 estimate noted in the
prospectus but, according to Bonhams & Butterfields, a world auction record
such an item."
"They were bought by Larry Lawson of Big Lake, Alaska, who spent about one
million dollars in all. The 44-year-old oncologist said the items will
adorn his home and offices and be available for schools to visit."
" 'I've been into this kind of stuff since I was a little boy,' said
Lawson, who was attending his first auction. 'I just came to see who was going
to buy the T-Rex and to see if I could get anything other than that. Then a
lot of the prices just didn't get too bad.'
Now if I were an enterprising and persuasive paleontologist, I would call
up this guy and tell him about the load of crapola he got for his million
dollars, and what he should instead have done with the money:
Midnight Sun Oncology - Larry Lawson MD
2490 S Woodworth Loop # 499
Palmer, AK 99645
<Honestly, why would you pay 500k for what appears to be mostly fake?
wouldn't you be better off buying a proper cast of a more complete specimen,
from a real institution where the money goes back into science? It's
frustrating enough to see good specimens sold at auction, but when it's trash
this... you really wonder who is going to buy it.>
Is Dr. Lawson a member of SVP? Has he ever been to a meeting? If he's
interested in fossils to the tune of $1 million, he should be furthering
science instead of collecting atrium decorations.
< I hope samson fails to sell.>
Interesting thing about "Samson" is that they are vague about how much
real bone is actually there. I found this from when Samson was merely Mr.
Length of skull 1370 mm
Length of tooth row, left maxilla 560 mm (approximately)
Length of tooth row, left dentary 530 mm
Length of articulated cervicals from the anterior zygapophysis of C4 to
the posterior zygapophysis of C10 985 mm
Length of dorsal 4-6 taken at base of transverse processes 393 mm
Length of posterior dorsal vertebra140 mm
Height of posterior dorsal vertebra 653 mm
Length of 13 articulated caudal vertebrae 2780 mm
Length of centra of two isolated caudals 152 and 132 mm
Length of femur 1330 mm Circumference of femur 588 mm (indicating a weight
of 5.5 metric tonnes)
Length of fibula 965 mm (approximately)
Length of metatarsal II 620 mm
Length of metatarsal III 750 mm
Length of metatarsal IV 640, 655 mm
Length of phalanx r-1 120 mm
The total length of the reconstructed skeleton is estimated to be
approximately 10.8 m (35 feet). The total reconstructed height at the hips is
estimated to be approximately 3.45 m (11.35 feet).
Another interesting thing about buying "Samson" is this disclosure:
"Notice Regarding Certain Rights in the "Samson" Lot:
The purchaser of Lot 23 will acquire full ownership rights in the skull
and in the other original fossilized bones comprising the "Samson" specimen,
as well as in the cast of "Samson's" skull included in the lot, including
all rights to make reproductions of and other copyrights in "Samson's"
original fossilized bones."
"With respect to the cast reproduction elements incorporated into the
specimen (excluding the cast of "Samson's" skull described above), which cast
reproduction elements are hereinafter referred to as the "Cast Elements",
the purchaser of Lot 23 will acquire ownership rights in such Cast Elements
and a fully paid up, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable license to
publicly display such Cast Elements as part of the "Samson" specimen as well
photographic and resale rights therein; however, the purchaser (and any
successor) is not acquiring the right to, and may not, recast (reproduce) the
Cast Elements or otherwise create derivative works of the Cast Elements in
whole or in part, as such rights are reserved by the Black Hills Institute of
Geological Research, Inc. Cast Elements Copyright (c) BHIGR 1995-2005. All
So you get a good skull but you're on your own in completing the rest of
the skeleton if you want to make and sell casts.