Should ancient bones be up for sale? Shoppers in Dubai say yes!

Dinosaur Dubai MallDecorative taxidermy reaches new heights in the United Arab Emirates!  Dubai developer Emaar has shelled out big bucks for the remains of a 150-million-year-old dinosaur which will be permanently displayed in the world’s largest shopping venue, Dubai Mall.

The adult Diplodocus specimen (90% original bones!) represents the first time ever that dinosaur fossils were found in a sleeping position. And Dubai buys another world record!

The remains were discovered at the Dana Quarry in Wyoming (USA), an area containing ancient fossils dating back to the late Jurassic Period. According to Dinosauria International, it’s the most productive dig site in Wyoming, and the “origin of over a dozen, mostly excellent articulated individual skeletons, ranging from the huge and lumbering Apatosaurus to the terrifying Allosaurus and the tiny Coelurosauria.”

Over 75 million shoppers came to Dubai Mall last year to shop and peer through the world’s largest acrylic panel (to view creatures in its amazing aquarium) and nosh at “Candylicious” (the world’s largest sweet shop).  The dino exhibit is expected to exponentially boost footfall.

But the story inside this story is that anyone with a full wallet can buy a full dinosaur (or downgrade to specific bones, teeth, or fossil imprints).

Google “dinosaurs for sale” and up pops PaleoDirect, the DinosaurStore, and even eBay as used bone sellers.

Truly spectacular specimens can be picked up through bespoke auction houses; last year a pair of “dueling dinosaurs” was on the block for $7 million – the duo, a tyrannosaurid and ceratopsian, was discovered dramatically intertwined in a prehistoric death match.  One of the most important discoveries in North American paleontology – destined for a food court in an UAE mall or Emir’s garden.

The upside is that that high roller Emiratis have clearly embraced “recycling” – recently cars, and now bones.

Image of Dubai dino from 7 Days in Dubai 

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2 thoughts on “Should ancient bones be up for sale? Shoppers in Dubai say yes!”

  1. Laurie Balbo says:

    Absolutely agree, Richard – and wish Amman’s malls would include some displays with educational angles.

    Airports are increasingly serving as public art galleries; makes perfect sense for malls to step up as museums. And where better to start than in Dubai?

  2. richard says:

    I took my 5 year old son to see this last week; it was amazing to see one of the world’s best dinosaur fossils here in Dubai where there is a shortage of museums. I personally think it’s great to have these precious objects available for the maximum amount of people to see. The display is well done and very educational. I don’t see a moral issue with the trade of fossils (unless it results in them not being available for the public to see) but I’ll stand corrected if someone has an argument I haven’t considered! I’m also pleased that we managed to enjoy the exhibit and leave without spending any money in the mall 🙂

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