Stan the T. rex just became the most expensive fossil ever sold

A 67 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex specimen nicknamed Stan has just shattered a record; on Monday (Oct. 6), Stan was sold at Christie’s New York for nearly $32 million. That makes it the most expensive fossil ever sold at an auction.

Previously, the priciest fossil to hit the auction block was an incredibly complete T. rex known as Sue, which sold for $8.36 million in 1997 ($13.5 million in today’s dollars, given inflation) to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Meanwhile, the buyer of Stan has not been identified, according to The New York Times.

Many paleontologists are dismayed that Stan sold for so much to an unknown buyer, especially now that many scientific institutions don’t have the money to purchase such fossils and keep them in the public domain. However, unlike other dinosaur specimens, Stan had no choice but to go to the auction block, so

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First Fossil Feather Ever Found Belonged to This Dinosaur

The feather looks like any feather you might find on the ground. But it’s not. It’s about 150 million years old, and it fluttered to the ground back when the dinosaurs roamed what is today called Bavaria. It’s entombed in limestone, and, when paleontologists unearthed it in 1861, it became the first fossil feather ever discovered.

Many paleontologists think the feather came from archaeopteryx lithographica, a creature that, with its feathered wings and sharp-toothed mouth, bears features of both dinosaurs and birds, making it a herald of the evolutionary transition between the two groups.

But that first-known fossil feather isn’t attached to an archaeopteryx skeleton, and so for more than a century, not all scientists have agreed on the identity of the feather’s owner.

“There’s been this debate, even when the feather was found: Does this isolated feather belong to the same animal as these skeletal specimens of archaeopteryx?” said

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Daunting marine predator’s fossil uncovered in Chile [Video]

Scientists in the vast Atacama desert in Chile have uncovered the remains of one of the largest and most daunting marine predators to patrol the Earth’s oceans — dating all the way back to some 160 million years ago.

The Atacama is the driest desert in the world, a moonscape of sand and stone.

But once, it was largely submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean.

According to researchers who found the fossils there, they once belonged to ancient reptiles called pliosaurs — predators with a more powerful bite than the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Paleontologist Rodrigo Otero led the research project.

“Pliosaurs were marine reptiles with heads similar to those of modern crocodiles with short and very robust necks, an aerodynamic body and athletically-adapted limbs. These reptiles could reach large sizes and some specimens have been found with over two-meter-long skulls.”

Otero says the find helps scientists fill gaps in time and evolution

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