Patt Morrison for June 20, 2012

US seizes dinosaur skeleton in order to return it to Mongolia

Dinosaur Dispute

Uncredited/AP

An image from documents released from the U.S. Attorney's office, Monday, June 18, 2012 shows the fossil of a Tyrannosaurus bataar dinosaur at the center of a lawsuit demanding its return to Mongolia. A lawsuit brought by the U.S. government demanded Monday June 18, 2012, the fossil be turned over to the United States by an auction house so that it can be returned to its home in Mongolia.

A U.S. federal judge authorized the Department of Homeland Security to seize a set of Tyrannosaurus fossils, after it was found that the bones were smuggled illegally into the country.

The skeleton was sold at auction by Texas-based Heritage Auctions Inc. in New York for more than $1 million, even though the president of Mongolia obtained a restraining order in a Texas court before the auction took place.

"Under Mongolian law, dinosaur fossils are considered property of the Mongolian government and 'one-of-a-kind rare items' that are prohibited from being moved abroad," according to Bloomberg.

Guest:

Patricia Hurtado, reporter, Bloomberg


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