Dinosaur aficionados plunked down nearly a million dollars Sunday for hundreds of prehistoric fossils that were sold to the highest bidders by the Butterfield & Butterfield auction house's Los Angeles office.
Among the items on the block were meteorites, dinosaur claws, dinosaur eggs, dinosaur foot and skin imprints, a 5-foot woolly mammoth tusk and a 2 1/2-foot fossilized snake.
Top dollar was paid for a baby ichthyosaur, a sea reptile that lived 190 million years ago. It fetched $46,000. In all, the items brought in about $980,000.
Some had criticized the idea of selling such rare, ancient finds, but David Herskowitz, Butterfield & Butterfield's director of natural history, said nothing irreplaceable was put on the block.
"We're not selling anything museums need and we don't sell anything that's new to science," Herskowitz said.