A dinosaur skeleton that's 150 million years old can be yours for about $500,000 – but some paleontologists are not happy

A restored iguanodon skeleton.
The skeleton of a dinosaur named Zephyr on display in Paris where it will be auctioned next month.Reuters
  • A restored iguanodon skeleton is expected to sell for about $500,000 at an auction next month.

  • A paleontologist told Insider he hopes the current enthusiasm for dinosaur remains "will pass."

  • The skeleton of the creature that lived 150 million years ago and is 4.2 ft high and 9.8 ft long.

Bored with buying art to hang on your walls? Then maybe you'd like to consider bidding for the skeleton of a dinosaur when it comes up for auction next month.

The iguanodon skeleton was discovered in Colorado in 2019 while a road was being built on private land.

The skeleton was restored by a team of Italian paleontologists and will be sold in Paris on October 20 by the auction house Giquello, which expects it to sell for up to $500,000.

"Zephyr" is 4.2 feet high and 9.8 feet long. Auctioneer Alexandre Giquello told Reuters it is perfect for a living room – though perhaps he was thinking more of a French chateau than a typical home.

A close-up of the iguanodo skeleton.
The dinosaur is estimated to have lived more than 150 million years ago.Reuters

Not everyone is happy that such specimens are passing into private ownership rather than going on display in a museum, for example.

Insider previously reported that a dinosaur skeleton that was only partly comprised of genuine bones was sold by Christie's for just over $12 million in May. Paleontologists say that ultra-rich buyers are increasingly paying huge sums to own a unique artifact.

Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, told Insider: "Another week, another dinosaur auction. We seem to be in a cultural moment where dinosaur skeletons are a trendy memento for wealthy buyers."

"I can only hope this fad will pass, and these irreplaceable objects of our natural heritage will cease being commodities affordable only to the elite," he said. "Museums just can't normally afford the high prices that many dinosaurs are generating, so scientists and the public are losing out."

Brusatte told potential buyers: "If you're wealthy enough to buy a dinosaur, may I please suggest that you donate it to a museum where it can be conserved, studied, and put on display to inspire children and the public."

A close-up look of the dinosaur's skull.
Zephyr's skull.Reuters

According to Britannica, iguanodons became the second species to be described scientifically as a dinosaur in 1825 – after the megalosaurus.

Read the original article on Business Insider