An exceptionally large Allosaurus with all its teeth and bones intact will make its debut at Drouot.
Upper Jurassic (150.8-145.5 million years ago), Morrison formation, Wyoming, United States, Allosaurus, h. 3.50, l. 10 metres.
Estimate: 1/1.2 M€
This stunningly reconstructed and displayed Allosaurus skeleton, stretching out its claws and opening its maw to reveal knife-shaped teeth, is stalking a prey that, unlike those of its prehistoric predecessors, will be consenting. The results of the latest dinosaur skeleton sales show that they still have the power to fascinate. The Binoche et Giquello auction house has been faithful for several years now to these creatures brought back from the dawn of time. On 11 April 2018, the skeleton of a young Allosaurus fetched €1,407,700. Like many others, the 3.5 metre-tall specimen came from the Morrison formation in Wyoming, where prehistoric fossils can practically be scooped up off the ground. In 1877 Othniel Charles Marsh found the first traces of Allosaurus, or "different lizard", which soon became the best-known theropod. Studies have shown that it was a ferocious carnivore with a particularly keen sense of smell, capable of ambushing its prey and engaging in socialised behaviour to hunt in a pack. Specialists say the adults were around 8.5 metres long. The largest preserved in an institution—the American Museum of Natural History in New York—is 9.7. This one measures 10 metres and would therefore be one of the largest known to date. The Allosaurus thrived in North America’s fertile lands during the Upper Jurassic period between 150.8 and 155.5 million years ago. It was not the only predator of its time: traces of trauma are visible on three ribs, a bitter memory making it look a bit more alive.