GUY RAZ, host:
A couple of weeks ago, we brought you the story of a 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex about to be sold on the Las Vegas Strip. Her name is Samson. Yes, she is a female. And she hit the auction block yesterday.
Now, the auction house had hoped to fetch more than $6 million for her fossilized skeleton. But it seems even in Vegas, no one was willing to bet that big.
On the line is Thomas Lindgren, the co-director of natural history for Bonhams & Butterfields auctioneers.
Welcome back to the program.
Mr. THOMAS LINDGREN (Co-Director of Natural History, Bonhams & Butterfields): Well, happy to be here.
RAZ: Describe what happened during yesterday's bidding.
Mr. LINDGREN: Well, actually, we had quite a bit of interest during the entire auction. When we got to Samson, you can tell there was kind of a hush around the room as people were anticipating what may or may not happen. The bidding started at about $2.5 million, and as we approached $3.6 million, things really began to slow down, and we realized we might not be able to actually consummate the sale during the auction itself.
There were certainly many interested parties, but we had a certain reserve price we needed to meet, and we didn't quite get there yesterday.
RAZ: Mm-hmm. What was that reserve price?
Mr. LINDGREN: Well, I can't really divulge what that reserve price is, but it was certainly more than $3.6 million.
RAZ: So the reserve price wasn't met, which basically means you didn't sell Samson.
Mr. LINDGREN: We didn't sell her yesterday, but we're actually in negotiations with both private parties and an institution after the sale because they still are very interested in trying to bring her to a new home. We feel fairly confident that we're going to get her into a new home. It's just a matter of everyone putting their finances in line.
RAZ: You were quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying that you want to be the guy who slid into home plate at the end of a grand slam at the end of the World Series of paleontology. But perhaps last night you lost that world series, right?
Mr. LINDGREN: Well, you know what? I think we're in extra innings.
RAZ: Ah, extra innings. All right.
Mr. LINDGREN: I don't think the game is over yet.
RAZ: Fair enough. So what's next for Samson now?
Mr. LINDGREN: Well, she'll still be in the Guggenheim space here at the Venetian Inn.
RAZ: For a few more days.
Mr. LINDGREN: For a few more days. And once we've started to dismantle her, she is going to be put back into her crates and into a warehouse.
RAZ: Thomas Lindgren is a veteran fossil hunter and the co-director of natural history for the Bonhams & Butterfields Auction House.
Mr. Lindgren, thanks for joining us.
Mr. LINDGREN: It's been a great pleasure. Thank you.
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