Feds Seizing Illegal $1M Dino Skeleton

Tyrannosaurus belongs to Mongolia, court decides

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2012 12:04 AM CDT | Updated Jun 21, 2012 2:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Department of Homeland Security has been ordered to detain a dead, 70 million-year-old, 24-foot-long illegal immigrant. The skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Bataar—T. Rex's Mongolian cousin—was sold for $1 million at an auction in New York last month despite objections from the Mongolian government, which bans the export of fossils, reports the BBC.

A court ordered the auction house to surrender the skeleton after experts viewed it and decided that it had almost certainly originated in Mongolia. When it was imported from Britain in 2010, sellers claimed that the skeleton had been dug up in Britain and was only worth $15,000. A spokesman for Heritage Auctions says the skeleton was bought in good faith, and had been restored at considerable expense to the auction house.

Somewhere in the Department of Homeland Security, an evidence manager is having one of the more challenging weeks of his career.   (AP Photo/US Attorney Office)
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