Selling America’s Fossil Record



Last November, in a marketing effort worthy of Mad Men, dinosaurs stood poised to take over Madison Avenue, courtesy of the New York auction house Bonhams. In a Manhattan atrium, giant mounted skeletons of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex loomed over artfully arranged greenery, while a specimen of two individuals known as the Montana Dueling Dinosaurs–still partly encased in plaster field jackets–rested on black platforms. The venue looked just like a museum gallery, right down to explanatory placards. But all the specimens were the property of commercial fossil hunters and dealers and others looking to make a sale.   Read more

Photo by H. Pringle