Rare U.S. saber-toothed tiger skeleton up for auction

  • World
  • Wednesday, 02 Dec 2020

The skeleton of a 37 million year-old saber-toothed tiger hoplophoneus primaveus is seen during an auction preview at Piguet Auction House in Geneva, Switzerland December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Cecile Mantovani

GENEVA (Reuters) - A rare skeleton of a saber-toothed tiger which roamed the northern United States some 37 million years ago is estimated to fetch 60-80,000 Swiss francs (48,388 - 66,999 pounds)next week, auction house Piguet said on Tuesday.

The fossilized skeleton, discovered in South Dakota, is that of a robust Hoplophoneus weighing about 160 kilograms (350lb) which hunted primitive horses and small rhinoceros.

"This saber-toothed tiger is 37 million years old. It is particularly rare because its skeleton is 90% complete," Piguet director Bernard Piguet told Reuters Television.

Mounted on a piece of wood, the skeleton is the star lot among 40 on the block in Geneva at a Dec. 8 session dedicated to palaeontology which is also expected to attract online bidders.

Fabrice Van Rutten, Piguet's antiquity art specialist, said the item had a "universal dimension" without religious or cultural associations.

"It speaks to all of us regarding where we come from on Earth...I think this is one of the rare artistic areas without borders," he said.

Yann Cuenin, head of Nevadia, the Swiss-based seller, said the skeleton had been found in South Dakota's Badlands.

"This is probably one of the best pieces of this species that was discovered on this site," he said. "So the preservation is particularly good, the fossilization quality is very neat, the mineralization is perfect."

($1 = 0.9042 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Cecile Mantovani; writing by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Ed Osmond)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Memory loss? Pressure increases on UK's Boris Johnson over ex-minister
Exclusive-Suspect confesses to killing Malta journalist, says hit was "just business"
U.S. envoy: Iran adds demands in nuclear talks, makes alarming progress on enrichment
Russia's speaker asks parliament to look at scrapping Norway sea treaty
Few civilians, charred buildings in Ukraine's Lysychansk after capture by Russia
High school on fire: violent protests by kids rock Chile
Russian parliament passes first vote on war economy measures
'It could have happened to us,' say worried hikers in Italy
Ancient Spanish village loses school, fears for its future as population dwindles
Abortion worries heightened for unauthorized immigrants in the U.S

Others Also Read