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First in Switzerland paleontology auction hosted by the Piguet 24 September 2019 in Geneva


On the 24th of September 2019 the Genevan auction house Piguet will host first in Switzerland Paleontology auction and will put up 62 unique lots – fossils of dinosaurs, ancient fish and prehistoric invertebrates from the past geological eras.

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Maximus,  exceptional authentic dinosaur skeleton Thescelosaurus Neglectus
Maximus, exceptional authentic dinosaur skeleton Thescelosaurus Neglectus, Hell Creek Formation, South Dakota, Upper Cretaceous (70 million years, Maastrichtian), length 299 cm, h. 99 cm.
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The dimensions of his bones indicate that "Maximus" was a young adult Thescelosaurus. The skeletons of small dinosaurs are easily destroyed through natural erosion. This is therefore a rare and exceptional discovery.

The quality, detail and colour of the bones are unique. The bones do not show any signs of deformation or geological compression. This specimen is also distinguished by its excellent conservation. Nearly 70%-75% of the skeleton has been unearthed and many skull parts have been discovered.

It is very rare to obtain such a high percentage of bone from the same individual. A skeleton, usually called "complete", often contains at least 50% plastic or is a combination of several different dinosaurs.

The Thescelosaurus is described as a small ornithopod dinosaur. The origin of the name "Ornithopoda" is explained by the similarity between the dinosaur legs of this suborder and those of modern birds. Indeed, "Ornithopoda" literally means "bird's feet".

This small dinosaur lived in North America during the Upper Cretaceous and was therefore one of the last dinosaurs to have walked the Earth before the Cretaceous Tertiary extinction. This happened 66 million years ago when a gigantic meteor crashed in to earth’s Yucatan peninsula and put a definitive end to the reign of the dinosaurs.

Several partial skeletons of Thescelosaurus have been found and suggest that this dinosaur reached a maximum size of 4 metres in adulthood. The first partial specimen was found in 1891 in Wyoming. Unfortunately, the front of the body and the skull had disappeared through erosion. Several decades passed before more specimens were discovered.

Its strong hind legs and robust tail show that this animal was a fast and agile runner. Undoubtedly, it could change direction very suddenly with the balance of his powerful tail. It had small hand-like paws and a thin, elongated skull, equipped with very particular teeth adapted to an herbivorous diet.

Exceptional fossilized shark Orthacanthus Senckenbergianus
Exceptional fossilized shark Orthacanthus Senckenbergianus, Germany, Permian (260 million years old), length 206 cm.
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The auction will feature an exceptional fossilized shark Orthacanthus Senckenbergianus (estimated at CHF 45 000 – 65 000). Orthacanthus Senckenbergianus was a predatory shark that ruled Europe's freshwater marshes 260 million years ago. It is extremely rare to find such a well preserved shark fossil. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage that degrades quickly after the death of the individual. This specimen was discovered in Germany in the 1970s.

Allosaurus fragilis mandible
Allosaurus fragilis mandible, U.S.A. (Wyoming), Jurassic (150 million years old), length 40 cm, with base.
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Allosaurus fragilis mandible (estimated at CHF 32 000 – 40 000) offered at the upcoming auction is 40 cm in length. Allosaurus was one of the main predators of the Upper Jurassic and stood at the top of the food chain. It is estimated to have reached a height of 12 metres and weighed in at several tonnes. Its jaw was equipped with long, narrow, serrated teeth that made this dinosaur an effective killing machine. This mandible was discovered in Wyoming in the middle of a cluster of other dinosaurs. The allosaurus was probably a victim of scavengers after its death and its remains were scattered. It is very rare to find such an isolated piece.

Horridus Triceratops  Horn
Horridus Triceratops Horn, USA (Montana), Cretaceous (70 million years old), h. 100 cm
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A Horridus Triceratops horn (estimated at CHF 30 000 – 50 000) was discovered in the USA (Montana) and is 100 cm in height.

Complete front leg of Camarasaurus Grandis dinosaur
Complete front leg of Camarasaurus Grandis dinosaur, USA (Wyoming), Jurassic (150 million years old), about 230 cm high, with base.
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A complete front leg of Camarasaurus Grandis dinosaur (estimated at CHF 30 000 – 50 000) was discovered in the USA (Wyomin) and is about 230 cm in height. Camarasaurus was a large sauropod that lived in the North American plains in the Upper Jurassic. It is estimated to have reached 20 metres in length and 7 metres in height, weighing in at more than 20 tonnes. Despite its impressive proportions, it was among the favourite prey of the terrible Allosaurus.

Entelodont skull, Archaeotherium mortoni
Entelodont skull, Archaeotherium mortoni, USA, South Dakota, Oligocene (30 million years old), length 47 cm, with base.
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An entelodont skull, Archaeotherium mortoni (estimated at CHF 13,000 – 18,000) was discovered in the USA (South Dakota) and is 47 cm in lenght. The archaeotherium, also known as "hell's pig" is a family of omnivorous mammals that was extinct about 15 million years ago. Remains of these animals have been found in Europe, America and Asia. This is an old specimen that has just been prepared with modern techniques. Few fossiliferous rocks contain fossils of such a beautiful colour. This chocolate coloration is very popular with collectors.

Marine reptile skull Stenopterygius Quadriscissus
Marine reptile skull Stenopterygius Quadriscissus, Jurassic Germany (150 million years ago), length 69 cm, with base.
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A marine reptile skull Stenopterygius Quadriscissus (estimated at CHF 12,000 – 18,000) is 69 cm in length. This skull belonged to a predatory Jurassic marine reptile. Although its morphology may resemble that of a dolphin, the Ichtyosaur family is linked to reptiles. The largest example from this family was found in Canada and measured over 20 metres long.

Large multiple plate Diplomistus-Phareodus-Priscacara
Large multiple plate Diplomistus-Phareodus-Priscacara (top to bottom), USA (Wyoming), Eocene (50 million years old), 103*66 cm.
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A large multiple plate brings together three different species of fish: Diplomystus dentatus, Priscacara liops, and Phareodus testis (estimated at 7,000 – 9,000 CHF).

A giant caudal vertebra of Apatosaurus dinosaur
Giant caudal vertebra of Apatosaurus dinosaur, USA (Wyoming), Jurassic (150 million years old), tail vertebra just behind the sacrum (pelvis), h. 83 cm, with base.
More images here.

A giant caudal vertebra of Apatosaurus dinosaur (estimated at CHF 6,500 – 7,500) was discovered in the USA (Wyoming) and is 83 cm in height.

Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth
Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth, USA (Montana), Cretaceous (70 million years old), h. 6.1 cm, on base.
More images here.

The auction will feature a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth (estimated at CHF 3,000 – 5,000) 6,1 cm in length. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, commonly known as "T-Rex" is undoubtedly the most mythical dinosaur of all time. Its fossilized remains are extremely rare and coveted by collectors all over the world.

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Photos and information: courtesy of the Piguet auction house


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