Dinosaur naming rights up for auction

Dino McDinoface? Could be.
Dino McDinoface? Could be. Photo credit: Reuters

If you ever wanted to name a species 'Dino McDinoface', this is your chance. The only catch is you'll probably need at least NZ$2 million.

The naming rights to a newly discovered species of dinosaur are going up for auction in June.

The bones of the carnivorous theropod were dug up in Wyoming in 2013. At first palaeontologists thought they belonged to a known species of allosaur, but soon realised it was a never-seen-before dinosaur that lives about 150 million years ago.

It's nine metres long, and would have stood 2.6m tall. It has more teeth than its closest relatives, a bigger pelvis and longer shoulder blades.

"My estimate for this dinosaur is €1.2m to €1.8m, but this is only an estimate," Eric Genest of auction house Auguttes said.

"The price for such a rare item can climb very fast because this is a still unknown dinosaur to which the buyer can give his name."

The lucky buyer will also get a steel structure capable of holding up the skeleton and its enormous skull.

"The discovery of this specimen probably represents the high point of my career, so significant are its scientific implications," fossil expert Eric Mickeler told UK media.

An allosaurus skeleton sold for £1 million in 2016.