He found it on his birthday in his own backyard.

Worth a Mint

Talk about buried treasure.

A Colorado dinosaur hunter is set to rake in millions of dollars after finding an almost complete 150-million-year-old stegosaurus skeleton.

The fossil is set to go on auction at Sotheby's this summer, CNN reports, but some dino scholars are grumbling that such a unique find should instead be displayed in a museum.

"It is a great shame when a fossil like this, which could educate and rouse the curiosity of so many people, just disappears into the mansion of an oligarch," University of Edinburgh professor of paleontology and evolution Steve Brusatte told CNN.

Bone Yard

If a paleontologist finds a dinosaur on government-owned land, it belongs to the public first, under US law. If it's found on private land, however, all bets are off, depending on the jurisdiction.

In the case of the stegosaurus, nicknamed "Apex," dinosaur hunter Jason Cooper found the skeleton on his private property in Colorado on his 45th birthday in May 2022, according to the BBC. The skeleton is estimated to fetch as much as $6 million at auction.

The stegosaurus is not the only dinosaur skeleton that has attracted eyeballs and bags of money. In 2020, rival auction house Christie's put the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to bid, garnering an eye-watering and record-setting $31.8 million.

Like Apex, paleontologists in academia grumbled about losing out the opportunity to see the T-rex skeleton in a research setting and were dismayed it would instead go into a private collection.

Thankfully, The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi has claimed the skeleton and will display it to the public as part of a new museum slated to open in 2025.

More on dinosaurs: Awesome Website Lets You See What Dinosaurs Lived Near Your House

Share This Article