Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 12:50 UK

Dinosaur skulls sold at auction

Triceratops skeleton (2008)
The plant-loving triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to become extinct

Two dinosaur skulls have fetched top prices at an auction in New York.

A giant 65-million-year-old Triceratops skull sold at Bonhams' Natural History auction for $242,000 (£148,000).

A skull from a cousin of the T. rex, the Alioramus remotus, went for $206,000 (£126,000). Both sold for almost double the original estimates.

The auction house would not reveal the buyers, but said the bones could end up as home ornaments.

'Like a sculpture'

The Triceratops skull, which was more than 80% intact, measured some 5.5ft (1.7m) long and had eye sockets the size of dinner plates.

Much smaller than a typical Triceratops head, it is thought to have belonged to a young dinosaur who died of an infection, the New York Times newspaper reported.

"It actually looks lovely... it looks like a sculpture," Bonhams' spokeswoman Staci Smith told AFP news agency.

She said private collectors often snap up "dinosauria" - the collective term for dinosaur eggs, teeth and bone fragments - to decorate their homes, but conceded: "You'd have to have an extremely large living room."

The skulls had been estimated to go for between $120,000 to $140,000 each.

Print Sponsor

Mystery buyer strikes dino deal
19 Apr 08 |  Sci/Tech
Giant dinosaurs 'held heads high'
27 May 09 |  Science & Environment
Europe's 'biggest dinosaur' found
21 Dec 06 |  Science & Environment
Fossil hints at fuzzy dinosaurs
18 Mar 09 |  Science & Environment
Canadian dig yields tiny dinosaur
16 Mar 09 |  Science & Environment
Dino feathers 'were for display'
13 Jan 09 |  Science & Environment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific