The huge herbivore called “Freya”, a Harpocrasaurus stibengi, lived 75 to 67 million years ago and was sold to a telephone bidder against an estimate of £50,000 – £80,000. The skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur sold at auction for a whopping £95,000 – despite being the size of a bungalow.
The dinosaur was discovered in North America, is around 7.5m long and 3m high and would have weighed about four tonnes.
The virtually complete animal was sold by Summers Place Auctions as part of the Natural History Museum collection of the Emmen Zoo on Tuesday.
Other prehistoric animals sold for thousands more than estimated included a rare Hoplophoneus – a sabre-toothed cat – which went for £32,000 to a telephone bidder.
It had been estimated at just £5,000 – £8,000 and is part of the extinct group of predatory mammals that could be found worldwide from the Eocene epoch to the end of the Pleistocene epoch – 11,000 years ago.
The skeleton of the progenitor of today’s horses, the Eohippus, found in North America, carried an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000, but sold for £20,000.
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An extremely rare bird fossil from Wyoming sold for £12,500 to a telephone bidder, four times more than its top estimate, and a fossilised Orthacanthus shark sold for £4,500.
A total of 180 unique lots went on sale at the auction in Billinghurst, West Sussex.
Prior to the auction, auctions specialist Rupert van der Werff said: “Owing to the relocation of the zoo this collection will be offered on a no reserve basis so there may be a chance to secure something truly significant for a bargain price.”
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