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Dinosaur skeleton to be auctioned in Paris

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A 100-million-year old dinosaur skeleton is expected to fetch up to 400,000 Euros at an auction in Paris this week. You can also pick up various other archaeological artifacts and more modern day items that are really out of this world, including space suits and meteorites.

Bored with watching endless re-runs of "Jurassic Park"? Do you have a few hundred thousand Euros to spare? Then this giant reptile might have your name on it.

It last walked the earth 100-million years ago, but it's now on sale in Paris and could fetch the better part of half-a-million Euros at the auction.

The Spinosaurus skeleton doesn't in fact come from one single animal. It is a composite of bones gathered over a wide area of Morocco where the species lived.

Andrea Valli, palaeontologist, said, "We're certain that it is made with real bones, but have come from (several) individuals. They were found in a relatively large area in Morocco, and are the result of a collection campaign. It took, many years, about 20."

The skeleton is one of several hundred fossils, bones, minerals, and meteorites that will be going on sale as part of an auction for which the theme is the march of time.

Other objects on sale include several space suits, among them, an extremely rare ORLAN extra-vehicular suit that was developed for Soviet astronauts.

One of these, a SOKOL K emergency suit used on the Soyuz flights, formerly belonged to Vladimir Dzhanibekov. The famous Russian cosmonaut took part in five separate missions, including a complicated and dangerous 1985 repair mission to the Soyuz 7 space station, according to the sales catalogue.

It is certified "flown", as is a suit worn by the American astronaut Mike Finke. This will be the first time that certified flown pieces - meaning that they have actually "floated" in space - will be on sale.

For buyers after something a little more weighty, there's always the selection of meteorites. A whole shower of the heavenly bodies are going on sale, the heaviest weighing 1.2 metric tons with an estimated age of around four-and-a-half billion years discovered in Russia in 1967.


Dinosaur skeleton to be auctioned in Paris
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