A RARE crocodile fossil estimated to be 40 million years old is set to go up for auction at an auction in Scotland.
The Eocene specimen will form part of a private collection of natural history objects to be auctioned at Glasgow auction house McTear’s next week.
The collection of nearly 200 pieces was assembled over a lifetime of collecting by a retired Highland-based geologist, who does not wish to be named. It is estimated to fetch tens of thousands of pounds.
The fossilized crocodilian (Plalaysuchus Petroleum), with a skeleton 92cm long, was unearthed in China and is thought to be around 40 million years old, the auction house said.
Being in “impeccable condition” in his stone grave, it is estimated at £10,000-15,000.
Other lots include a nest of fossilized Hardrosaur eggs – herbivorous duck-billed dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous – which could fetch £7,000, and a Gibeon iron meteorite which fell to earth in Namibia.
The 25cm long boulder weighs 7kg and is expected to cost between £4,000-6,000.
Auction items with a lower price include a five-million-year-old fossilized tooth from a Megalodon shark – a much larger ancestor of the Great White – which has an estimate of £100-£200, plus some many more bundles of fossils and minerals offered for a few hundred pounds, experts said.
James Spiridion of McTear’s said: “This is a wonderful collection that has been painstakingly assembled over decades.
“The varied nature of the objects is remarkable with fossilized plants and animals alongside rare minerals, rocks and even a meteorite.
“The fossilized crocodilian is in immaculate condition with a near-perfect skeleton on display.
“It should be noted that a similar, albeit larger, example recently sold at auction for $250,000, illustrating quite clearly the importance of these fascinating objects.”
A Cabinet of Curiosities: Comprising an Important Natural History Collection, will take place at McTear’s in Meiklewood Road, Glasgow on 10 August at noon.
Auctions are available in person, by commission, by telephone and online.
The full catalog is available at www.mctears.co.uk.