Daily Mail

London

A dinosaur fossil which is the oldest of its kind is expected to be snapped up for £350,000 at auction.

The seven-foot (2.3 metre) long skeleton of the Ornitholestes, which means ‘bird robber’, dates back 150 million years to the Jurassic period. It will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s on September 30 and comes less than a year after Misty the Diplodocus skeleton sold for £500,000.

The Ornitholestes specimen was discovered at the Bone Cabin Quarry near Medicine Bow, Wyoming in 1900 and remains the only sample of the species ever to be unearthed. Despite the carnivorous creature’s small size, its long lower limbs gave it tremendous speed and agility which made it a formidable hunter, paleontologists claim.

It is believed to have weighed just 15kg and lived on a diet of small mammals, lizards and birds. Also in Sotheby’s Natural History auction is a 180 million-year-old fish fossil which is expected to attract bids of up to £240,000.