Diplodocus skeleton (Reuters)
Julia Thomas posing with a diplodocus skeleton named Misty. Photo by Reuters
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Diplodocus caudal vertebrae showing the double-beamed chevron bones - look at the bottom of the tail. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The 55-foot long skeleton of a long-dead dinosaur sold on Wednesday for about $652,000.

Experts say it was the first UK sale of any large dinosaur, let alone a diplodocus -a long-necked herbivore that last roamed the planet more than 150 million years ago.

The 19-foot tall female, nicknamed Misty, was found almost completely intact in 2009 by the teenaged sons of palaeontologist Raimund Albersdoerfer near a quarry in Wyoming in the United States. The remains were then assembled into the form diplodocuses are believed to have had in the Netherlands, the BBC adds.

The skeleton was auctioned as part of the Evolution Sale, which was curated by natural history expert and author Errol Fuller, at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

Diplodocuses are among the elongated animals that people used to call "brontosaurus," before realizing that said beast was actually a mix-up between bones of different dinosaur species.

The name in Latin means double-beamed, and refers to the doubled chevron bones in the underside of the tail (see picture). Since given the monicker, it has been discovered that double-beam chevron bones aren't unique to diplodocuses.

In Israel, which is rich in fossils of marine animals, no dinosaur skeletons have been found. However, footprints of the great beasts - in this case, apparently, Struthiomimus- can be seen at the central Israeli farming community of Beit Zayit.

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