Dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the Earth 65 million years ago. Today, dinosaurs still retain their immense popularity, with dinosaur bones, teeth, skeletons, eggs, droppings and other fossils bringing top dollar in the natural history collectibles field. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Protoceratops and Pteranodon are just some of the extinct dinosaurs whose remains fetch big bucks, with some fossils selling for over one million dollars.
Dinosaurs once ruled the Earth for an incredible 135 million years. No longer with us – in the "living" sense of the word of course – dinosaurs continue to fascinate 65 million years after their untimely extinction, with dino skeletons, bones, eggs, teeth and other fossils bringing big money in the world of natural history collectibles.
Here are ten valuable dinosaur fossils that are sure to interest dino fans and natural history buffs. Do you know what's buried in your backyard?
Tyrannosaurus Rex Tooth with Root
The rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-rex enjoyed one of the most fearsome reputations in the dinosaur world. He/she later found fame of course in the movies, most notably in the Jurassic Park series. A 13 3/4-inch T-rex tooth with root sold at auction for $41,825.
T-rex fossilized tooth $41,825
Troodontidae Bird-Dinosaur Skeleton
The Troodontidae were small to medium-sized raptors who flourished at the end of the dinosaur age. These bird-dinosaurs were equipped with large, retractable, sickle-shaped claws on their second toes which made them pretty tough birds in the dino world. A Troodontidade skeleton 65-70% complete from central Asia brought a top bid of $32,000 at auction.
Bird-dinosaur skeleton $32,000
Protoceratops Dinosaur Skull
The Protoceratops was an inoffensive, pig-like animal measuring about six feet long and weighing in at over 400 pounds. He was often on the dinner menu of larger theropod raptors. A skull from this creature who roamed in herds sold at auction for $38,240.
Protoceratops skull $38,240
Dinosaur Egg Nest
Eight fossilized eggs believed to be from Therizinosaurus fetched a top bid of $3,346 at auction. This nest of eggs came from the Gobi Desert in Central Asia.
Edmontosaurus Duck-Billed Dinosaur Skeleton
An extremely rare juvenile Edmontosaurus "duck-billed" skeleton in 90% complete condition sold at auction for $97,519.17. This particular specimen was uncovered in 1990 in an ancient riverbed near Browning, Montana. It measures 10 feet in length.
Edmontosaurus skeleton $97,519.17
Allosaurus and Stegosaurus Dinosaur Skeletons
A pair of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus skeletons unearthed together in 2007 from a site in Wyoming brought an incredible $2,748,200 at auction. It was believed that these two monsters from the Jurassic period had been locked in mortal combat prior to their violent demise. The Allosaurus and Stegosaurus measure 21 feet and 18 feet in length, respectively.
Allosaurus and Stegosaurus skeletons $2,748,200
Theropod Fossil Footprints
Giants once roamed the earth. Theropod three-toed footprint fossils found in St. George, Utah, sold at auction for $5,915.25.
Pteranodon Flying Dinosaur Fossil
The Pteranodon was the dominant flying creature of its period, boasting of a wingspan larger than any living bird today. A Pteranodon skeleton 75-80% complete took flight at auction, bringing $33,460. This fossil was unearthed in Kansas.
Diplodocus Dinosaur Leg
The Diplodocus was one of the longest creatures ever, measuring over 100 feet in length or one-third the size of a football field. A Diplodocus leg measuring 7 1/2 feet fetched a top bid of $17,925 at auction. This particular dinosaur had met an unfortunate end while trapped in the mud at an ancient watering hole in Wyoming.
Diplodocus leg $17,925
Massive Dinosaur Droppings
Dinosaurs had to relieve themselves like any other creature and often performed "No. 2" in a big way. Massive fossilized dino droppings, possibly from Jurassic sauropods, sold at auction for $5,975. They were uncovered in Montana.
Dinosaur Fossil Value Credits
- All auction results and images courtesy Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas
- Top image: Saurolophus dinosaur skull discovered in central Asia $38,240
Copyright © 2012 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved.