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The fossilized skeleton of a baby dinosaur currently being sold on eBay has caused controversy among scientists.
The dinosaur bones, later identified to belong to a juvenile Tyrannosaurus / tɪˌrænəˈsɔːrəs / rex (T-Rex), was discovered in 2013. The structure is 15 feet long, and experts believe that the remains are from a four-year-old T-Rex. Fossil hunter Alan Detrich / ˈdɛtrɪk / unearthed the skeleton in a private land in Jordan, Montana. He lent the fossil to the University of Kansas’s Natural History Museum to be exhibited for two years.
Recently, however, Detrich has put the skeleton up for sale online for $2.95 million. Since its eBay listing, the University of Kansas has removed the fossil from the museum. Additionally, the museum director released a statement explaining that it was not involved in the sale in any way.
Detrich’s decision to sell the fossil has outraged the scientific community. In an open letter, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) condemned Detrich for using the fossil’s scientific importance to sell it at a high price. The scientists are also concerned that the dinosaur will no longer be available for future studies if the fossil becomes privately owned.
Despite the criticisms, Detrich denied that his actions will prevent future studies of the baby T-rex. He claimed that without him, the discovery of the fossil would not even be possible. He also pointed out that he actually let scientists observe the fossil freely in the last two years. The fossil hunter said that he only wants to be compensated for what he has accomplished.