A woolly mammoth skeleton sold for $300,000, Wednesday in an auction in the United Kingdom.
According to Summers Place Auctions in Billinghurst, West Sussex, the mammoth skeleton was part of a private collection for decades, but was recently put up for sale.
The skeleton, nicknamed “Monty” was one of the most comprehensive examples of the mammal who lived during the Ice Age and which species died about 10,000 years in the past, the auction house said.
Curator Errol Fullor said:
“Although mammoth are not as rare as some dinosaur skeletons, the chances to buy an almost complete skeleton don’t come up very often. We had interest from private buyers as well as institutions from around the world and there was bidding going on between buyers in the sale room and on the phones,”
The unidentified private buyer from UK bought the skeleton through a bid over the telephone. The sale price for the specimen was $240,000 but the woolly mammoth skeleton sold for $300,000, this includes the premium from the buyer.
Found in Eastern Europe, Monty is between 30,000 and 50,000 years old. The skeleton measures 11-foot-6 in height (or 3.5 meters), 18 feet (or 5.5 meters) long and has a weight of up to 6 tons.
The mammoth is 90 percent complete as it has missing only a few bones. What is exceptional about the skeleton is that it has two tusks and only one or two toes are missing.
A spokesperson from Summers Place said the mammal would have been found across North America and Eurasia and its species have gone extinct 10,000 years ago.
“Its diet was mainly grass and sedges, which explains why it only had four molar teeth, and also stunning long, curved tusks. The woolly mammoth co-existed with early humans, who hunted them for food and used its bones and tusks for making art, which also explains why complete skeletons are so rare.”
Other items out for bid in the auction included an egg from an Elephant Bird (a bird extinct for about 500 years) measuring more than one foot (30 cm) and a Moa skeleton (a bird resembling an emu that was common in New Zealand).