The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a very interesting story!  Paige Williams tells the story of a man named Eric Prokopi and the dinosaur bones he sells, especially the bones of a Tarbosaurus or T. Bataar for short.

A T. Bataar is a very, very close cousin to the well known Tyrannosaurus, but T. Bataar skeletons are only found in Asia where they flourished about 70 million years ago.  Most bones of the T. Bataar have been found in Mongolia….and here is where the problem lies and a story appears…….

In 2012, a New York auction said they had a “superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton” for sale.  It was actually a ‘nearly’ complete T. Bataar, unearthed in Mongolia.  As the fossils sat on display, the winning bid was for over $1 million dollars and the man behind the bones – a 38 year old named Eric Prokopi.

Eric, a onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi’s singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there was a problem.  As the T. Bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia and an international custody began……..

I highly recommend this book!  Such an interesting story and history of the dinosaur trade, something we don’t really think about on a daily basis!

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