Smithsonian Museum (@NMNH): Buy the Hell Creek Dinosaurs! Don't Let Them Be Sold to Private Collectors.
  • Petitioning Hans-Dieter Sues

This petition will be delivered to:

Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Hans-Dieter Sues
Director of Public Affairs, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Randall Kremer

Smithsonian Museum (@NMNH): Buy the Hell Creek Dinosaurs! Don't Let Them Be Sold to Private Collectors.

    1. Charlotte Hill
    2. Petition by

      Charlotte Hill

      San Francisco, CA

The skeletons of two fossilized dinosaurs recently found in the Hell Creek formation in Montana could be entirely new kinds of dinosaurs – but we'll never know, if they're bought by private collectors at an upcoming November auction.

The New York Times reports:

"Going against the hopes of many paleontologists, these two nearly complete skeletons, found by commercial prospectors on a private ranch, are not going directly to a museum for further study. Instead, billed as the 'Montana dueling dinosaurs,' they will be auctioned in November by Bonhams in New York, for a projected price of $7 million to $9 million, which would be one of the highest prices ever paid for dinosaur fossils."

"'This lines their pockets but hurts science,' Thomas Carr, the senior scientific adviser at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and director of the Carthage Institute of Paleontology in Wisconsin, said of the sellers, who include the husband-and-wife owners of the ranch and the prospectors, one of whom calls himself the Dino Cowboy."

"A museum could still buy the fossils; many were offered them, at an even higher price, in the long, winding road to auction. Or a private buyer could make them available to scientists. It’s the lack of a guarantee that rankles paleontologists."

Up to this point, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has passed on buying the skeletons, which it was offered at a whopping $15 million. The fossil sellers will probably only get $7 or $8 million at auction – so they should let the Smithsonian buy the skeletons for that price instead.

Smithsonian Museum, please keep these skeletons available to scientists and the public!

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Samuel Gutherz WAYMART, PA
      • 11 months ago

      Dinosaurs are awesome

    • Shannon Hubbell OAKLAND, CA
      • 12 months ago

      "That belongs in a museum." - Indiana Jones

    • Advait Jukar INDIA
      • 12 months ago

      I am a biologist who has a keen interest in paleoecology and paleontology. It is a shame to see such well preserved specimens go to a private collector. They should be made available to scientists to study them and for the public to admire and appreciate. Such specimens play an important role in educating people about life in the mesozoic.

      • 12 months ago

      Buy the hell out of those dinosaurs!

    • Alexander McCormmach SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • 12 months ago

      Fossils are the common heritage of all humanity and should be available for study by scientists and appreciation by the public, not locked up in some fat cat's mansion for private eyes only.


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