Friday, 18 January 2008

Volkswagen-sized giant mastodon skull for auction

A Texas museum that teaches creationism is counting on the auction of a prehistoric mastodon skull to stave off extinction.

The Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum, which rejects evolution and promotes the theory that man and dinosaurs coexisted, believes it faces certain closure after 10 years barring a generous bid Sunday on the estimated 40,000-year-old specimen.

Heritage Auction Galleries projects that the will fetch upward of $160,000. The artifact discovered in La Grange in 2004 is believed to be the largest of its kind.

The museum said they would love to keep the skull of the elephant-like mammal as the centerpiece of his tiny museum just outside Lubbock, which includes creationist exhibits like one purporting to show that Noah took dinosaurs aboard his ark.
But they have been financially crippled by about $136,000 that’s been ordered to pay in a legal dispute over finder's rights to an Allosaurus skeleton unearthed in Colorado. About $141,000 has also been put into the mastodon skull's restoration.

If the mastodon auction doesn't cover the judgment, local authorities will seize the museum and sell off its contents in February..

The Heritage auction will also include other natural history items, including a 26-pound gold nugget found in Mexico that is expected to fetch at least $1 million.

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