Stegosaurus Empire: Apex Skeleton, Largest Ever Found, Up for Auction at Sotheby’s – Scientists Sound Alarm

Denver, Colorado – A gigantic stegosaurus skeleton named Apex, believed to be the largest of its kind ever discovered, is set to hit the auction block at Sotheby’s this summer with an estimated value of up to $6 million. While the listing has generated excitement among the public, it has also raised concerns among some scientists who fear that selling rare fossils at high prices could hinder scientific research.

Standing at 11 feet tall and over 20 feet long, the fossil distinguishes itself in the scientific community for its immense size and nearly complete skeleton. Unearthed by a commercial paleontologist on private land near Dinosaur, Colorado, the skeleton is a rare find due to its exceptional preservation and completeness.

Dubbed “Apex” for its outstanding size among stegosaurus fossils, the specimen is believed to be around 161 million years old, making it significantly larger than the well-known stegosaurus named Sophie displayed at the Museum of Natural History in London.

According to Sotheby’s auction listing, Apex showed no signs of combat or predation-related injuries, suggesting that it lived a peaceful life. Evidence of arthritis indicates that the creature lived to an advanced age, adding to its allure for researchers and the general public alike.

Prominent paleontologist Julien Louys of Griffith University in Australia hailed the discovery of Apex as a remarkable find for the scientific community. He emphasized the rarity of finding such well-preserved skeletons, especially for large animals like dinosaurs. Louys emphasized the importance of making such specimens accessible for both researchers and the general public.

The sale of rare fossils to private buyers has elicited strong backlash in the past, with concerns raised about the negative impact on scientific research. Diego C. García-Bellido, a leading paleontologist from South Australia, expressed concerns about the listing of Apex as an undetermined species of stegosaurus, suggesting that scientists may not have had the opportunity to properly study the specimen.

Despite the financial challenges faced by museums to acquire such valuable specimens, García-Bellido pointed out that many institutions lack the infrastructure to display massive skeletons like Apex. Commercial paleontologists often invest significant personal resources in excavating and preparing such fossils, raising questions about the balance between private ownership and scientific advancement.