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Disputed Dinosaur Fossil Auctioned for $1M in NYC

from the Seattle Times

NEW YORK (Associated Press) -- A dinosaur dispute is brewing between the Mongolian government and an American auction house, which sold a fossil of a fearsome T. Rex relative despite a court order not to.

The 8-foot-tall, 24-foot-long skeleton of a Tyannosaurus bataar--or tarbosaurus, a name that means "alarming lizard"--went for $1,052,500 Sunday at a New York auction, says Heritage Auctions, which hasn't identified the buyer or seller. But the sale is contingent on the outcome of the Dallas-based auction house's court fight with Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the auction house said.

Elbegdorj says the fossil--a nearly complete skeleton of a two-legged, fanged beast that stalked Central Asia about 80 million years ago--may belong to his country. Heritage says that it was assured the specimen was obtained legally, and that Mongolia hasn't established the fossil's origins lie there.

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