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The buyer of this dinosaur skeleton at Aguttes on June 4 - a newly discovered species - can name it after themselves. The estimate is €1.2-1.8m.

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So hopefully that heads off any attempt to brand it Boney McBoneface after a public vote.

This single-lot sale on June 4 offers this unique, recently unearthed skeleton of an unknown theropod and is the first auction of such a specimen destined for scientific study.

It has been estimated at €1.2-1.8m.

The 9m-long skeleton still has 70% of the original bone conserved. It was discovered in the course of excavations carried out in 2013 at a site on the Morrison Formation, an Upper Jurassic geological sequence laid down 155-148 million years ago that covers much of the western US and that is one of the world’s richest sources of dinosaur fossils.

It was only in 2016, when the skeleton was being prepared by European specialists, that scientists noticed that it presented major anatomical differences from known allosaurs, opening a new line of palaeontological research all the more promising for the completeness of the skeleton.

For a start, it has more teeth and a more substantial pelvis with a broad suture between the pubic bones, while the scapulae (shoulder blades) are more elongated and there are also differences in the bones of the skull.

These differences were observed and reported by palaeontologists Pascal Godefroit, a Belgian specialist known for his work on dinosaurs, and Simone Maganuco, of the Museum of Natural History, Milan.

Original skull

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The buyer of this dinosaur skeleton at Aguttes on June 4 - a newly discovered species - can name it after themselves. The estimate is €1.2-1.8m.

The skeleton has been mounted on a stainless-steel structure capable of supporting the weight of the skull, rather than having to replace it with a lighter, resin replica as is the case in most museum displays. This structure, whose lattice construction is a nod to Gustave Eiffel, also allows for individual bones to be removed for scientific study.

Eric Mickeler, expert consultant for the sale, said: “The discovery of this specimen probably represents the high point of my career, so significant are its scientific implications.”

Mickeler is employed all over the world as a consultant for the valuation of fossils. According to Aguttes, 15 years ago he “revolutionised the auction market for natural history and cabinets of curiosities, bringing major fossils to auction at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Aguttes”, and he is also “an enthusiastic populariser of palaeontology among the general public”.

Mammoth purchase

Last December Aguttes sold a rare complete mammoth skeleton from Siberia dating from the late Pleistocene era for a hammer price of €430,000 (£380,530) in a sale held in Lyons.

It measured 17ft 5in (5.3m) long from the tail to the tip of its massive tusks.