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Re: Sue sale details!!

Jeff Poling wrote:
> >Jeff Poling wrote:
> >
> >>    $7.6 million was the top bid.  With the buyer's premium, the total
> >> purchase price is $8.3 million.
> >>
> >>    "Sue" was purchased by Richard Grey, president of the Art Dealers
> >> Association, acting as agent for the Field Museum of Natural History in
> Chicago.
> >>
> >>    Backers for the purchase include McDonalds and Disney.
> >
> >Any idea what the angle is here? An odd match-up, to say the least. The
> >"commercialization" of paleontology appears to have taken an unusual
> >path...
>    No idea.  Since the media office is closed, I'll just have to wait to
> read the details in the papers like everyone else.  McDs and DW *will* get
> replicas of "Sue" out of it, though.

Well, not quite _everyone_ <g>.  Thanks to Compuserve, I have access to
the Reuters, AP, and UPI newswires.  All three reported on the auction
yesterday.  The essential points were as follows:

* Sue's skeleton was acquired by the Field Museum, where it will become
a permanent part of the museum's vertebrate fossil collection.  Purchase
price was $7.6 million; total price after taxes and fees was
$8,362,500.  This was the highest price ever paid for a fossil at public

* The purchase was financed by a consortium of sponsors that included
McDonalds, the Walt Disney Company, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the
California State University System, and unnamed private individuals.

* The skeleton will be prepared at the Field Museum, in a new
preparation laboratory viewable by the public.  The new lab will be
called the McDonald's Fossil Preparatory Laboratory.  (Side note: The
name rather strongly implies that McDonald's is _also_ putting up the
money for the lab.  I'm sure this will draw screams of outrage from
purists, but as far as I'm concerned, anything that pumps more money
into paleontology without unduly affecting the way paleontology works is
a Good Thing by definition.)  

* The Disney Company will receive a full-scale replica of the prepared
for DinoLand, part of the Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World
in Florida.

* McDonald's will receive two full-size replicas of the prepared
skeleton, which
will tour the US and the world as part of the company's millennium
promotional campaign.

* Most of the proceeds will go to Maurice Williams.

* (not news to anyone here, probably) "Sue" is by far the most complete
T-rex ever found, missing only the left arm, left foot, a few verterbrae
and a few dorsal ribs.  The bones reveal evidence of a rough life,
including leg injuries, another T-rex tooth lodged in a rib, and various
broken bones.  One of the leg injuries was crippling, but it had healed
during the animal's life.  This rather strongly implies that another
T-rex kept her fed while she was healing -- that is, social behavior in
_T. rex_

-- Jon W.