DENVER (KDVR) – The skeletal remains of a small dinosaur that was discovered in Colorado in 2019 are going up for auction next month in Paris.
The preserved Camptosaurus is three meters long, 1.3 meters tall, and is named Zephyr.
According to the Associated Press, the 150 million-year-old fossilized skeleton is currently on display at the French auction house Drouot in Paris.
“We recovered 70% of [Zephyr’s] skeleton and we have an amazing fossilization of the back tendons that is a part of the skeleton that is usually not preserved,” paleontologist Iacopo Briano said.
On Oct. 20, the fossilized iguanodon skeleton will be put up for auction and is expected to sell for between 400,000 and 500,000 euros, which is around $495,000.
Due to Zephyr’s compact size, auctioneer Alexandre Giquello feels the low estimate on the specimen may bring in a wider clientele pool.
To put this estimate in perspective, a collector based in the U.S. purchased Big John, a fossilized triceratops, for a record-setting $6.53 million just last year.
“In the last 20 years, we have seen more and more collectors approaching this specialty but in the last five years, we have seen an explosion of interest and this is because of the auctions, the public sales,” Briano told said.
Giquello et Associes already has the fossilized skeleton posted on its auction house page ahead of next month’s auction.