It’s over 150 million years old and taking centre stage at Heathrow Airport – one of the finest dinosaur skeletons ever unearthed.
The 13 meter long skeleton of a diplodocus is on show between April and June in the Terminal 5 landside departures area prior to its auction in Paris later this summer where it is expected to fetch around £2 million.
It was unearthed in Wyoming USA in 2012 and palaeontologists have been examining and restoring the remains ready for the auction ever since. It is mounted on a stainless steel frame and around 90 per cent of the bones are still intact, together with skin imprints, making it of particular interest to scientists.
Experts believe it is a sub-species of the herbivorous diplodocus which was common in North America during this period. It’s been nicknamed Skinny, and is likely to prove a big attraction for travellers departing Heathrow over the Easter period.
Archaeologist and special advisor to Aguttes Auction house, Eric Mickeler says, “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.”