2007_03_arts_penguin.jpgThe skull of a carnivorous Tyrannosaurus dinosaur and the tusk of a mammoth from the Ice Age were sold at auction yesterday. The IM Chait auction was the first the company has had in New York, held in a Manhattan loft on 5th and 29th. While the pieces of history sold for high prices, the final bids were nowhere near as high as the one for the Breakfast at Tiffany's dress, and only a few went for more than the old Velvet Underground album. Seems we all may be a bit more interested in what we find in attics, basements and stoop sales in Chelsea than what is found under layers of history. Then again, if you know someone who owns a Egyptian mummy's hand...

The mounted tyrannosaurus skull (which measured 32 inches) was sold to an anonymous California bidder for $276,000. This is the third highest amount paid for a prehistoric specimen at auction. The highest? $8.36 million for the skeleton of a 65 million-year-old dinosaur nicknamed "Sue" at Sotheby's in 1997.

The 10-foot tusk of a woolly mammoth found on the Siberian tundra was sold to an anonymous bidder for $96,000. In all there were 345 lots sold yesterday, including: a 75,000-year-old dire wolf skull ($60,000), a 10 million-year-old fossil penguin (pictured, $9,600) and a fossil plate of a flying dinosaur skeleton from Germany ($48,000).

The NY Times, calling the auction "a child’s dream, a wealthy person’s playground and a curator’s nightmare", reports that the owner of the Tyrannosaurus dinosaur skull has been known to show his collection to the public.