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Breathtaking "Montana dueling dinosaurs" up for auction at Bonhams New York
The dinosaurs have been identified as a Nanotyrannus lancensis, a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex. Photo: Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams will auction the breathtaking “Montana Dueling Dinosaurs” on November 19, with an estimate of $7,000,000-9,000,000. The two virtually complete dinosaur skeletons, a carnivore and a herbivore, were found fossilized together in Hell Creek, Montana in 2006. Dubbed the “Dueling Dinos,” the specimens are preserved in a sensational pre-historic death match between predator and prey.

The dinosaurs have been identified as a Nanotyrannus lancensis, a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, and a new species of Chasmosaurine Ceratopsian (similar to a Triceratops). Both would have stood about eight feet high and measured between 25 and 35 feet long. The fully articulated skeletons show the well-matched foes were locked in mortal combat, each inflicting fatal wounds on the other. Nanotyrannus teeth are present in the skull of the Chasmosaurine, while the Nanotyrannus’ skull and chest appear to have been crushed laterally, as though kicked. The remarkable state of the skeletons indicates the pair was buried very shortly after the fatal struggle.

The “Dueling Dinos” have the potential to radically advance modern paleontology, and illuminate the mysteries of life during the Cretaceous Age. Their superb preservation in fine-grain, loosely consolidated sandstone allowed them to remain intact despite the weight of the sediment that buried them. The specimens were removed in large, plaster-jacketed sections of earth, safeguarding the spatial relationships in which the bones were found. Both dinosaurs also exhibit extremely rare preserved soft (skin) tissue, offering spectacular possibilities for cellular research.

Additionally, the “Dueling Dinos” may hold the key to answering one of the most puzzling questions for paleontologists today. Presently, researchers are divided over whether Nanotyrannus’ are their own genus, or whether they are simply juvenile Ty-rannosaurus rexes. The Nanotyrannus involved in the “Dueling Dinos” is only the se-cond example ever found, and by far the most complete, offering the best hope to-date of answering this pressing scientific question.

“Offering the ‘Dueling Dinos’ at Bonhams in November is the highlight of my career. They are one of the most significant dinosaur discoveries ever in North America,” said Thomas E. Lindgren, Co-Consulting Director of the Natural History Department at Bonhams, an internationally recognized expert and lecturer with nearly 30 years of experience. “The importance of this discovery cannot be overstated.”

Bonhams will offer the “Dueling Dinos” on November 19 in New York. They will open for preview in New York on November 14.

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