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Rare dinosaur skeleton sells for €2 million at Eiffel Tower auction

The skeleton of an extremely rare form of dinosaur sold for more than two million euros ($2.3 million) at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Monday.

Rare dinosaur skeleton sells for €2 million at Eiffel Tower auction
Photo: AFP
The bones of what scientists believe to be “probably a new species” of the carnivorous allosaurus were discovered during a dig in Wyoming in the United States in 2013.
   
The 150-million-year-old skeleton, which is 70 percent intact, was snapped up by an unnamed French art collector, who promised that the specimen will be lent out to a museum.
   
The buyer “wants it to be on display in a French museum,” auctioneer Claude Aguttes told AFP.
 
Photo: AFP
   
The dinosaur, which is more than nine metres (30 feet) long and 2.6 metres high, lived during the late Jurassic period, said Eric Mickeler who works for the Aguttes auction house.
   
He said it was the “only one of its species” to have yet been discovered.
   
Dinosaur expert Eric Geneste had earlier told AFP it was impossible to “classify the skeleton yet as an allosaurus” because it was more robust, “with longer shoulder blades and a different number of teeth”. 
  
“In fact there are as many differences between it and an allosaurus as between a human and a gorilla,” he added.
   
Japanese and Swedish telephone bidders also tried to buy the dinosaur, pushing the bidding above the 1.8 million euro estimate.
   
The same French auction house sold an allosaurus called “Kan” for 1.1 million euros in 2016. 
  
Mickeler said that “herbivores do not quite excite businessmen who buy dinosaurs the same way as carnivores do. They want to buy carnivores like themselves.”
   
Part of the proceeds of the sale of the skeleton by a British collector will go to towards funding further archaeological digs.
 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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