The sale of the massive diplodocus, who last roamed the Earth more than 150 million years ago, was the first UK auction of a large dinosaur skeleton
The female Diplodocus longus skeleton, nicknamed “Misty” and measuring 55 feet long and 19 feet tall fetched £400,000 when it went on auction in West Sussex yesterday
The auction house said the buyer is an unnamed institution that would put the skeleton on public display.
“It isn’t going to disappear. It’s going to stay on public display which is fantastic news,” said bidding agent Rupert van der Werff.
Summers Place Auctions said the skeleton was rare because it was found mostly intact by accident.
Sales Curator Errol Fuller said the diplodocus fossil was discovered almost completely intact in 2009 by the sons of palaeontologist Raimund Albersdoerfer near a quarry in Wyoming.
Mr Albersdoerfer had sent them to dig in the area to “get them off his back.”
“They just went off looking for something on their own, and they were very quiet for hours and hours and then when he went over he discovered that they’d unearthed this massive bone and he quickly realised that there were more bones there,” said Mr Fuller.
The skeleton was treated at a fossil laboratory in the Netherlands before it was assembled in Britain.