Christie’s pulls T. rex Shen from auction after questions about skeleton: report
British auction house Christie’s said over the weekend that it would withdraw the skeleton of the tyrannosaurus rex Shen from an upcoming auction in Hong Kong.
Marketed as a “historic moment,” Shen’s sale would have been the first time a T. rex skeleton had been offered at auction in Asia.
However, after consulting with the consignor of the dinosaur, Christie’s decided to withdraw the lot, according to The New York Times.
“The consignor has now decided to lend the specimen to a museum for public display,” Christie’s spokesman Edward Lewine told the paper, noting that the firm believes Shen, which was expected to fetch between 15 and $25 million, “would benefit from further study.” .”
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Multiple Fox News requests for comment from Christie’s were not returned. However, the Times reported that questions were raised about the fossil in recent weeks.
After contact with the Black Hills Institute of Geological Survey regarding similarities between Shen and Stan, another T. rex sold in 2020 for a record $31.8 million, there were concerns that the materials of online auctions did not make it clear that the specimens included casts from Stan, Christie’s. added in a note.
“The bone replicas that were added to the original bones (called Stan elements) were created and purchased from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Inc.,” he said.
The Black Hills Institute retained intellectual property rights to the specimen, and the company’s president, Peter Larson, told the Times that it had been “very misleading” to use Stan to sell Shen and that Christie’s had ” the right one” removing Shen. .
He told CNN on Tuesday that most of Shen is actually Stan.
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Excavated in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, Shen was described as 43 feet long and 16 feet tall, weighing 1,400 kilograms.
According to Christie’s website, Shen would have lived during the Cretaceous period, between 66 and 68 million years ago.
He said the T. rex is in a “scientifically accurate position” and is “museum standard” and “54% is represented by bone density”.
None of Shen’s teeth are original, according to the Times, and Shen apparently has about 79 original bones.
Stan, however, has 190 original bones, and a fossil expert listed as a researcher on Christie’s website apparently recognized that about three-quarters of the original bones in the specimens were casts of Stan.
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David Burnham of the University of Kansas told the publication that the density figure had been determined “by calculating the area of each individual bone represented using measurement software.”
“No T. rex skeleton exists that is entirely made up of original bones. We believe the original Shen elements are authentic,” Christie’s told CNN on Tuesday.