For sale, dinosaur skeleton, 20 meters long, 150 million years old, price between 3 and 5 million euros

For sale, dinosaur skeleton, 20 meters long, 150 million years old, price between 3 and 5 million euros
For sale, dinosaur skeleton, 20 meters long, 150 million years old, price between 3 and 5 million euros

Got some cash to spare and some space in your garden? At over 20 metres long and made up of 75 to 80 per cent of the original bones, ‘Vulcan’ is the largest dinosaur ever put up for auction. It is on display ahead of its sale at the Château de Dampierre-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris.

“Vulcan” has taken up residence at the Château de Dampierre-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris: the fossil of this apatosaurus will be exhibited to the general public from Saturday before being sold on November 16 at auction. Estimated price: between 3 and 5 million euros.

“The dinosaurs that were previously sold were mostly large carnivores, like tyrannosaurs,” says Olivier Collin du Bocage, auctioneer at Drouot and partner for the sale at the Barbarossa auction house. “Here we have the nicest and biggest dinosaur, the one who is the first icon of ‘Jurassic Park’ and who gets a piece of his paw stolen by Snowy in the adventures of Tintin,” he adds.

“It’s really something that resonates in the collective imagination,” enthuses the auctioneer. The herbivorous giant, which weighed around twenty tons in its lifetime and has probably reached the age of 45, will be presented in the orangery of the Yvelines estate, where kings Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Louis XV stayed.


The head of the sauropod, about 150 million years old.

© AFPTV

The skeleton of “Vulcan” was discovered in 2018 in Wyoming, United States, where the law allows individuals to acquire concessions in the hope of excavating prehistoric bones.

The excavations took place between 2019 and 2021 and were financed by a French investor. The fossil, which includes 300 bones, was then shipped to France for processing. This restoration work was carried out over two years by the company Paleomoove Laboratory in its workshop in the Luberon.

“We received large blocks of plastered rock, some weighing more than a ton,” describes Nicolas Tourment, founder and director of Paleomoove. “We extracted the bones from the rock and consolidated them. Once we had all the elements of the skeleton, we took care of the metal structure to mount it and give it a slightly moving position.”he explains.

For paleontology specialist Eric Mickeler, who examined “Vulcan”, the sauropod, which is about 150 million years old, has considerable scientific value. Specifically, “What species is it?”asks Mr. Mickeler. “It can’t be an Apatosaurus Ajax, it’s not a Ferox and it’s not a Louisiae either,” he says.It has characteristics of all three if you take them separately, but none of them is 100% complete. So it’s very new.”says the specialist.


Scientists are still unsure what species “Vulcan” actually belongs to.

© AFPTV

Another peculiarity: the skeleton has a protuberance at the base of the tail, probably the mark of a bite by a predator.

The sales contract stipulates that the future owner agrees to allow paleontologists access to the dinosaur to study it. In order to identify potential buyers, Olivier Collin du Bocage plans to canvass in the coming months.donors, patrons, foundations and collectors in Dubai, China and elsewhere.”

The auctioneer does not rule out the possibility that a French cultural institution may show its interest by soliciting donations from individuals.”“It’s a huge means of communication to appeal for sponsorship and allow the public to buy a piece of dinosaur to put it in a museum.”he suggests.

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