Passing Along without Comment
I Still Don't Think I Could Pass the Marshmallow Test

Dinosaurs for Sale!

Opportunities for dinosaur ownership just don't come up often enough these days, but Oct. 3 is looking promising.  That is when, according to this article, approximately 50 "impressive, museum-quality" natural history artifacts, including some dinos, will be auctioned off at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas.  The big seller is supposedly going to be a T. rex named Samson, with an estimated value of $2 million - $8 million. According to the article:
Prepared at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Samson’s skull is regarded as one of the finest and most complete T. rex skulls in existence, and displays 22 teeth. The skeleton contains approximately 170 bones, more than 55 percent of the total bone count of an entire skeleton.
That's nice, but this is not the best economy, and we don't all have millions of dollars to be spending on fossils.  That is why I have browsed the auction catalog and come up with some more budget-conscious picks to bid on.  All of the following picks come in well under the million-dollar mark, with auction values starting as low as $1,000!

Best Bargain-Bin Item: Lot 1, "A Fine Fossil Fish"

[Estimate: $1,000 - 1,250]

According to the catalog description, this Diplomystus dentatus specimen is a "requisite acquisition for any serious fossil fish collection."  More importantly, it is also looking like the cheapest thing you can buy in this particular auction--well, either this or the lame-ass "Ammomite with Bite Marks," but frankly, if you're going to drop a grand on a fossil, it shouldn't have a bite taken out of it.

Best Thing to Buy if You Really, Really Like Vertebrae: Lot 19, "Triceratops Vertebra"

[Estimate: $1,250 - 1,500]

If you buy one vertebra this year, I recommend you go with a Triceratops vertebra.  Their vertebrae have a "distinctive appearance" featuring "three horns and a large bony frill, which, besides giving this creature lasting celebrity, may have served several purposes."  From the looks of it, I think one of these purposes could definitely be 'most awesome pencil holder of the past 35 million years.'

Best Thing to Impress the Ladies: Lot 21,"Set of T. Rex teeth"

[Estimate: $7,500 - 10,000]

Some background: a couple years ago, I was in a bar with my sister Kate and her friend Ashley.  Ashley was approached by extremely hardy-looking man in a Hawaiian shirt.  Despite it being Saturday night at a bar, this man was dressed like a.) he was on a boat, and b.) he had never been anywhere else in his life other than on a boat.  Not knowing what to say, Ashley simply pointed to the shark tooth he was wearing around his neck and said, "Sweet tooth you got there, man."  The guy looked Ashley directly in the eye and said, "Lady, I've got a shark tooth at home that's as big as your hand."  The amount of confidence in this statement led me to believe that this comment had been used to impress many, many women in the past.

Which brings me to this item.  I cannot say the shark tooth line successfully worked on Ashley, but I can't help but think that if it had been an entire set of T. rex teeth that man had mentioned having at home, well--he and Ashley would probably be married by now.

Most Practical Purchase: Lot 30, "Pair of Dinosaurs Known as 'Xenia' and 'Ben'"

[Estimate: $500,000 - 600,000]


This is a true recession special.  For an estimated $500-$600K, you get two Late Cretaceous Einiosaurus Ben procurvicornis (a Triceratops relative) skeletons for just a fraction of the price of one T. rex.  The fact that E.p. is not one of your big-name dinos definitely does not mean you aren't getting quality here!  Ahem: "The virtuoso mounting of these specimens is exemplified by the treatment of Xenia's skull, which can  be turned from side to side. The skeleton is completely modular: almost every bone can be removed from the armature for scientific study; metal clips and cradles are used to secure the bones to the armature."  Additionally, "Ben's" skull can be rotated along two planes, up-and-down as well as side-to-side."

Dude, I know exactly what I would do if I had this pair of dinosaurs.  Xenia would stay at home on display in the  living room (note to self: get way bigger house ASAP).  Then I would pull Ben along behind me all day in a giant wagon, and whenever anyone asked me a yes-or-no question, I would say, "I don't know--let me ask my DINOSAUR.  Ben, do you think we should have turkey burgers for dinner?"  Then I would shake Ben's head yes or no in response.  Because I could.

Best if You Can't Afford an Entire Duck-Billed Dinosaur: Lot 22, "Dinosaur Arm"

[Estimate: $9,000 - 11,000]


Yes, it is possible to buy a full Edmontosaurus annectens ("duck-billed dinosaur") skeleton, but like I said: bad economy.  Instead, let me recommend this tasteful single arm of the same species.  The listing boasts that this lovely arm is "offered on a custom stand," which is a relief, because I have seen those generic, non-custom Edmontosaurus annectens arm stands they sell at Kmart, and those things are CRAP.

Those are my picks, but there's plenty more to see in the auction catalog here.


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laura marie

This, and the entire post you've written about it, is the best. thing. ever.

You have made my whole day and, lady, these days are looong.


I know you're seriously considering the triceratops Kelly...

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