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Fossilized dinosaur tail to be auctioned for Mexico schools, earthquake victims

Mexico City, Mexico — A fossilized dinosaur tail is to be auctioned off January 30 to raise money for Mexico earthquake victims that struck in September 2017.

According to organizer Morton’s Auction House, the tail, which is 4-meters (13-foot)-long and 180-kg (396-pounds), was discovered in Morocco and will be offered at a reserve price of 1.8 million Mexican peso or about $95,805 USD.

Any money raised about that reserve will be donated to the BBVA Bancomer Foundation to help finance the reconstruction of some 5,000 damaged schools.

The tail is from a 17-meter (56-foot), 22-tonne sauropod of the Atlasaurus imelakei species that roamed the Atlas Mountains of Morocco during the Middle Jurassic, some 165 million years ago. Moroccan paleontologists took 300 hours to clean the gigantic remains of the reptile, before scientists in Utah pieced them back together.

The group of dinosaurs called sauropods, were massive four-legged plant-eaters with long necks and long tails and included in the largest land animals on Earth.

Adolfo Albo of BBVA Bancomer Foundation said, “Education is an element of enormous importance for the country, an element of social mobility, that is why we support the reconstruction of schools.”

Albo said the foundation hoped the tail would sell for a lot more than the reserve price.

A Mexican businessman, who asked not to be named, purchased the fossil for his collection.