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November 12, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
A 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that failed to sell at a Las Vegas auction last month has been sold, the auction house says. Thomas Lindgren of Bonhams & Butterfields said he couldn't reveal the buyer or what he paid. But he said it was near pre-auction estimates of $5 million to $8 million. Lindgren said the buyer intended to display the fossil -- dubbed Samson -- in an American museum, and is in talks with several institutions. Samson is one of the three most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, possessing the most intact skull in existence.
November 1, 2009 | By Lew Sichelman
Some houses are heart-stopping perfect. But John Boyd's ticker skipped a beat a few years ago for another reason when he was previewing a house on behalf of a client. It was a "pretty expensive house," said Boyd of Home Buyer's Agent in Ann Arbor, Mich. "It was mostly vacant. There was some furniture, but it was clear no one was living there anymore. And I was alone." When he reached the basement, it was pitch black, so he had to fumble around for a light switch. Finally, he found one around a corner.
October 4, 2009 | Kate Linthicum
The auctioneer gazed out at the audience, knowing this was the moment they'd waited for. Next up, he said, was lot No. 23 -- a "wonderful, exceptional, 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as Samson." He gestured to the ferocious-looking skull sitting on a stand to his left. "There she is," he said. The people who had gathered in the elegant gallery at the Venetian hotel gasped. Samson is one of the three most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, possessing the most intact skull in existence.
October 2, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A treasure trove of 4.4-million-year-old fossils from the Ethiopian desert is dramatically overturning widely held ideas about the early evolution of humans and how they came to walk upright, even as it paints a remarkably detailed picture of early life in Africa, researchers reported Thursday. The centerpiece of the diverse collection of primate, animal and plant fossils is the near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor that demonstrates our earliest forebears looked nothing like a chimpanzee or other large primate, as is now commonly believed.
September 30, 2009 | John Johnson Jr.
Did Sue the dinosaur die of a really bad sore throat? An international team of scientists thinks so after studying holes in the jaw of the 13-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. "It's a distinct possibility that Sue died of starvation by a substantial infection in the back of the throat" brought on by a tiny parasite, said Ewan Wolff, a paleontologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of a paper describing the team's findings published Tuesday in the online science journal PloS One. In the past, according to Wolff, many paleontologists have speculated that the holes in Sue's jaw were caused by bite marks that were a product of Sue's rampaging lifestyle.
April 5, 2009 | Kenneth R. Weiss
The Los Angeles County coroner has identified the skeleton of a man found in a car at the bottom of a deep canyon in Malibu as a Thousand Oaks resident who had been missing for more than two years. Using dental X-rays, investigators were able to identify the remains of Jeffrey Howard of Thousand Oaks, said Jerry McKibben, a coroner's investigator. Howard vanished in December 2006 at age 40 after complaining of a headache and disorientation. His body was found in a Hyundai sedan at the bottom of a steep, isolated canyon off Kanan Dume Road.
October 3, 2008 | Philip Brandes; David C. Nichols; F. Kathleen Foley
A crime thriller heavily laced with violence and cruelty, John Pollono's "Razorback" is a trendy new black comedy for a post-"Sopranos" mind-set. Fine performances in a handsomely staged premiere production from Rogue Machine show much promise in a script still in need of considerable work.
September 3, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death for two young siblings whose skeletal remains were discovered in a Kern County storage unit. Investigators said Tuesday that dental records identified the victims as Victor and Tricia Reyes. The brother and sister had been dead between two and four years when the discovery of a severed hand Aug. 19 led detectives to search a Derrell's Mini Storage unit in Bakersfield. The county coroner says the children appeared to be between 10 and 11 years old at the time of their deaths.
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