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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Mammoth skeleton sold at auction
The 15,000-year-old mammoth has been dubbed The President.

The skeleton of a prehistoric mammoth has sold for 260,000 euros ($352,196) at an auction in Paris.

The 15,000-year-old Siberian mammoth skeleton, dubbed The President, along with other prehistoric curios, was put up for sale by Christie's.

The buyer, whose identity was not made public, will need plenty of room - the skeleton stands some 3.8m (12.5 ft) high and is 4.8m in length.

The skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros fetched 100,000 euros ($135,460).

Dinosaur egg

Other prehistoric curios in the sale included a cave bear skeleton standing more than two metres tall.

An unhatched dinosaur egg and a number of other fossils - some as old as 400m years - were also up for sale.

The skeletons were owned by a private collector.

It is a pernicious consequence of the Jurassic Park effect
Pascal Tassy
Paris Natural History Museum

Some palaeontologists were not happy with the skeletons being auctioned. Pascal Tassy, professor at Paris' Natural History Museum, told the Associated Press news agency it was wrong to sell-off specimens which could be useful to science.

"It is a pernicious consequence of the Jurassic Park effect," he said. "We are in a liberal system, in which everything can be sold.

"In the past, private collectors donated to museums, it was a great time of patronage. Nowadays we make money off anything."

The sale involved nearly 550 lots, which also included furniture, silverware and paintings.

For the first time, Christie's Paris allowed people to bid online. The system was trialled at a sale in New York last summer.


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The mammoth skeleton on show



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