The head of a pre-historic pterosaur preserved in amber has been valued at £4 million for an upcoming “evolution auction”.
The extinct flying lizard is among 12 lots which are said to offer buyers a glimpse of life on earth from millions of years ago.
Other pieces up for grabs include a giant millipede also caught in liquid amber, a Cretaceous-era scorpion and the skull of a Mosasaurus – a long-extinct giant aquatic carnivore.
“All of a sudden, the Jurassic Park storyline is a lot more believable," said Errol Fuller, natural history curator at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, where the sale will take place.
He added: “One hundred-million-year-old amber has fabulously preserved flora and fauna with high transparency and preservation as well as many good-sized pieces that facilitate the study of a specimen’s habitat.”
Not all the lots require a millionaire buyer: a tiny snake and giant millipede caught in amber and weighing just 3.03g is on sale with a guide price of up to £120,000, as is a mysterious long-necked eared animal – or possibly two – with skulls and claws and listed as Cretaceous Tetrapod(s).
All the lots were found in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar except for a single lot which comes from a mine in nearby Chung Wa.
The seller’s identity has not been disclosed, although it is said all money will go to funding further research.
The auction takes place 19 November.