Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Tinker the T-Rex to come to Texas

Here’s your dinosaur lawsuit news for the week.

The fossilized remains of Tinker the teenage T. rex soon could be returning to the prospectors who unearthed them, after a recent ruling from a federal bankruptcy court.

Most of the 65-million-year-old fossils have spent years in storage in Pennsylvania under the jurisdiction of a trustee, after the man hired to restore them filed for bankruptcy protection.

The trustee wanted fossil hunters Ron Frithiof of Austin, Texas, and Kim Hollrah of Iowa to pay $75,000 for services from Barry James and his company, Prehistoric Journeys.

A federal judge ruled last month that they owed just $18,480. Frithiof’s attorney, Joe Ellingson, said he assumes his client finally will be able to take possession of Tinker as soon as he pays that amount.

“It’s kind of kept things in limbo for so long,” he said. “We wanted to take possession of the fossil.”

The Tyrannosaurus was unearthed from northwest South Dakota in 1998. Tinker is believed to be the first nearly complete fossilized skeleton of a juvenile T. rex ever found. About a third of the dinosaur has been recovered so far.

The bankruptcy case is a short chapter in Tinker’s clouded history, which also involved a five-year ownership battle in federal court.

And quite a history it is. I just hope that when all the litigation is over and Tinker has been fully excavated and reconstructed that its final destination will be a museum, where people can see him and scientists can freely study him. It would be a terrible shame if such a fine specimen were to wind up in a private collection somewhere out of sight.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.