Dinosaur hunter's Montana find sells for $12.4M at auction

EDGAR – After driving through one of the miles of barbed-wire fence Jack Owen built in his younger days, he piloted the white flatbed truck downhill and back in time about 110 million years.

As the truck’s tires flattened the roadway’s new spring growth, the smells of sagebrush and wild onion floated through the air. Meadowlarks sang from atop the brush before winging low as the pickup came to a stop.

“Let’s go find something,” Owen said after attaching a holstered 9 mm semi-automatic pistol to his belt, placing a lock blade knife in his back pocket and picking up an ice-climber’s axe.

Within 10 feet he stabbed the sharp end of the axe at a shiny, smooth pink stone poking out of the hard-packed clay soil. Owen identified it as a gastrolith, one of the stones ground smooth in a dinosaur’s gizzard, a way to help the animals digest a meal.

“It’s a bad habit walking around with your nose to the ground,” he said.

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This is the fossil that sold at auction for $12.4 million

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