This Sunday, a New York auction house is offering up the perfect gift for the eccentric billionaire in your life: a complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataaris, an equally tyrannical Asian cousin of the North American T. rex, (according to LiveScience).
To clarify: the skeleton is not so much "complete" as "mostly complete." Heritage Auctions, the house conducting the sale, reports that skull has 80 percent of its parts, while the body has 75 percent.
Listen, this thing is like 70 million years old and was found in the middle of the Gobi Desert eight years ago by "an unnamed British collector." Sorry it's a little harder to keep track of all the pieces to this than to a dresser you bought at IKEA.
The last complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton to be sold at auction was a set of bones named "Sue" that went for $8.3M in 1997.
Tyrannosaurus bataars (more commonly known as Tarbosauruses, though, if you call them that, no one will mistake them for Tyrannosaurus rexes, so no one is calling it that) were a bit smaller than their American cousins. Bidding for the specimen is expected to top off between $1.4 million and $1.8 million.
The dinosaur is reported to be in excellent condition, though the description of it on the auction house website spends a lot of time trying to cute-up its boring colors:
"The quality of preservation is superb, with wonderful bone texture and delightfully mottled grayish bone color. In striking contrast are those deadly teeth, long and frightfully robust, in a warm woody brown color..."
The auction house is hopeful the dinosaur will be bought and donated to a museum, though it would be a much kookier story if some mysterious old recluse scuttled out of the shadows and nabbed it instead.
Here are the things you might consider doing with the skeleton if you are that recluse:
1. First off, anyone who would consider blowing a million dollars on a dinosaur skeleton probably has enough money lying around that they've done that before. Conservatively assuming you now have only two: Bookends.
2. Jumble all the bones up and scatter them throughout your backyard. Invite a pack of hyenas to make a home there. Then tell visiting young royals they must never step foot in your Elephant Graveyard.
4. Create the hairpieces for one thousand Pebbles Flintstone Costumes.
5. Learn to Read Bones, then host Wine and Truth parties where you tell people how they will die and also what you think of them.
6. Incorporate it into your Private Miniature Golf Course.
7. Place it Outside Your Neighbor's Window so that it appears to be looking in, but make sure to keep it on your property so that your neighbor cannot complain.
8. Clone a new dinosaur from it; Build an Army.
9. Rebury it in the Gobi Desert just to prove how eccentric you are.
10. Towel Rack.
The bones will be available for public viewing here Thursday – Saturday from 10.a.m. to 6p.m.
They will probably be pretty difficult to steal.