Pteranodon and Plesiosaurus, prehistoric predators up for auction at Sotheby’s

Rome, July 11. Rare prehistoric specimens, dating back more than 83 million years, will be auctioned by Natural History at Sotheby’s in New York on July 26 as part of the annual Geek Week sales series celebrating the history of science and technology, the exploration of space and the natural world.

Among the most anticipated lots are the mounted fossilized skeletons of two of the most feared predators: the Pteranodon, among the largest flying creatures, and the Plesiosaurus said to have inspired the legend of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

“This is the crypto-key plesiosaur, discovered in 1990 at the Blockley quarry in England – explained Cassandra Hatton, scientific director of Sotheby’s – it is extremely well preserved and it is very interesting to see its details.”

“One thing people may not realize about fossils is that when they are excavated, you are already very lucky if you find 50% of the creature,” he continued. “Most other places are often destroyed by erosion or other tectonic movements. So this sample is about 75% complete. It’s amazing that we actually have fossilized bones.”

Before the auction, both skeletons will be on public display in an exhibition starting July 20.

Winston Ferguson

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