You can find almost anything you want in the bowls of eBay.
Including, apparently, the 68-million-year old fossil of a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex being listed for just 2.9 million dollars.
It’s being sold by Alan Detrich, a professional fossil hunter who discovered the T-Rex in Montana in 2013. He then lent it to the University of Kansas Natural History Museum (KU) for a few years before deciding he’d rather hawk it online.
It’s got a ‘buy it now’ option though, so at least you won’t have to bid for it.
The letter states: ‘The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) is concerned because the fossil, which represents a unique part of life’s past, may be lost from the public trust, and because its owner used the specimen’s scientific importance, including its exhibition status at KU, as part of his advertising strategy.
‘These events undermine the scientific process for studying past life as well as the prospect for future generations to share the natural heritage of our planet.’
‘Museums seldom have the budget for purchase of increasingly expensive privately collected specimens, thus making it even less likely that the fossil will find its way into a permanent repository where it can be added to the scientific body of evidence about tyrannosaurs. Mr. Detrich has tried to capitalize on the museum’s good faith by using the exhibition and scientific attention as selling points.’
‘We strongly recommend that repositories, exhibitions, and scientists stay at arm’s length from specimens that are not yet permanently in the public trust.’
Following the listing, the University of Kansas has asked to have any and all mention of its involvement with the specimen removed.
So far, the eBay listing is notching up around 23 views per hour and the seller has implicitly stated that he does not accept returns.
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