If you go down to Heathrow Airport today, you’re sure of a big surprise — because there’s a 13 metre long dinosaur in a Terminal building.
It’s not a traveller who got stuck in the immigration queue, but a 155 million year old relic that’s being sold off by the French auction house, Aguttes in June for an expected £2 million.
Nicknamed Skinny, this cousin of the diplodocus which is still to be given a scientific name, is 13 metres long and 8 metres high (with his base), and has around 90 percent of his original bones.
The diplodocus is also the same species that until recently dominated the entrance to the Natural History Museum.
This skeleton though also shows significant impressions of the skin of the dinosaur, never before discovered on this dinosaur type, with a new scientific study indicating the skeleton is from a new species and is a cousin of the diplodocus.
Discovered in 2012 in Wyoming in the USA, it is currently the only diplodocus in the world with the imprint of its skin and therefore a world first.
Selling dinosaurs to private owners is a controversial issue, and while fortunately some private dinosaurs are either donated to museums, or granted on long term loan, museums argue that they cannot compete against deep pocketed collectors after their ultimate trophy.
That said, it would be a wonderful “trophy” for a British museum to acquire.
The dinosaur will be in Terminal 5 waiting for its departure flight until 3rd June.