Dinosaurs invade New York

A complete mounted skeleton of a Dryosaurus lot 250 one of only two of its kind in the World and the only one not on display in a museum – will be the featured item for sale at a Natural History Auction hosted by I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers on Saturday, March 21 in New York City.   

The 150-million year-old, 9-foot long, 3-foot wide skeleton of the Jurassic Age dinosaur, which was discovered in Wyoming in 1993, is “the best specimen I have ever seen,” said Dr. Rod Scheetz of Brigham Young University, an authority on hypsilophodontids, of which the dryosaurus is a member. The fossil is expected to sell for between $440,000 and $500,000.

And speaking of magnificent specimens, another featured item in the auction will be a complete skeleton of a juvenile wooly mammoth. The 7-foot high, 15-foot long fossil dates back about 20,000 years. The excellently preserved skeleton is large enough for a six-foot person to stand comfortably inside the rib-cage. The fossil is expected to sell for between $80,000 and $100,000.

Among the 300 other natural history objects available in the auction will be:

A mosasaur skeleton: This impressive giant marine lizard, dating back to the late Cretaceous period, was discovered in the Netherlands. With a heavy barrel-shaped body and a powerfully propulsive, laterally-flattened tail, this impressive skeleton measures about 20 feet long. The incredibly thin fragile bones have been expertly restored, and are expected to sell for between $80,000 and $100,000.

Gold nugget: This exceptionally beautiful crystallized gold nugget, discovered in Australia, weighs an extraordinary 867 grams. The gold nugget, with a particularly rich yellow hue, is expected to sell for between $55,000 and $60,000.

Mammoth tusk: The superb mammoth tusk, discovered in Alaska and dating back to the Ice Age, is part of the one of the most stupendous mammals ever to have walked the earth. The tusk measures more than 84 inches along the outside curve and weighs an impressive 68 lbs. It is expected to sell for between $38,000 and $45,000.

German sea lily: The German sea lily is a strange-looking marine creature, appearing more like a plant than an animal. Though this particular fossil dates back to the Jurassic Age, the sea lily can still be found in today’s oceans from Indonesia to the Caribbean. The most beautiful and desirable are those from the Posidonia shale beds of Holzmaden in southern Germany. This fossil is expected to sell for between $12,000 and $18,000.

Gem ammonite: This precious gem created 65.5 to 100 million years ago has become one of the most sought after fossils of its kind. With its vast array of bright and shimmering colors, this specimen is truly a gem. Measuring 20 1/2 inches wide, it is expected to sell for between $55,000 and $70,000.

Campo Del Cielo meteorite: This celestial object d’art, with naturally formed hole comes from the remote “Valley of the Sky” in Argentina. The tapering, organic-seeming form of this meteorite would alone be of special aesthetic interest, but the thrill here is in the large 1 1/2-inch by 1 1/8-inch hole. This fascinating specimen, which weighs approximately 23 pounds, features dips and ridges and is dusted with an attractive pale orange-brown tint. Meteorites exhibiting such superb character are rare and much sought after. It is expected to sell for between $4,000 and $5,000.

Raptor leg: The oviraptor was one of the most bird-like of non-avian dinosaurs, and one can immediately imagine its swift, light-footed gait from this superb presentation of a mounted leg section. Comprising tibia, metatarsal and phalanges, it is raised on a curved slender foot, the four sectional toes terminating in long wicked-looking claws. Mounted to appear free-standing on a metal armature and oak base, it is expected to sell for between $14,000 and $16,000.

For more information, visit www.chait.com or call 800-775-5020.