London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 (T5) will act as a temporary showground for a 155-million-year-old diplodocus skeleton throughout April, before it’s sold by French auction house Aguttes for an expected £2m (US$2.6m).
The 13m (43ft) skeleton is completely unique in that it shows significant impressions of the skin of the dinosaur, never before discovered on this type of animal, indicating that it could be from a new species closely related to the diplodocus.
Ross Baker, chief commercial officer at Heathrow, said, “What a sizeable welcome for families traveling this Easter. We’re excited to see the reaction from our passengers, as they encounter this completely unique specimen.”
Archaeologist and special advisor to Aguttes, Eric Mickeler, said, “This original skeleton is remarkable. It is currently the only diplodocus in the world with the imprint of its skin and therefore a world first.
“The sheer size of dinosaurs awes people, they are immense, and that is part of their fasciation for collectors. Buyers look for big impressive aesthetically attractive and well-preserved examples. It is also a case of supply and demand. There are very few found and so prices grow because there is a strong demand for them.”