The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy

The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Review

In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted an unusual offering: "a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton." In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in a Manhattan event space had been unearthed in Mongolia, more than 6,000 miles away. At eight-feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and when the gavel sounded the winning bid was over $1 million.

Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled.

Title:The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Bob Milne

    The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy wasn't quite the book I expected, but Paige Williams weaves an interesting exposé of the legal quagmire that is fos...

  • Matthew Budman

    Williams is a marvelous writer of paragraphs, and even of chapters: She beautifully captures scenes and characters and issues and history, and her prose sparkles. Nearly any reader will be fascinated ...

  • Katie

    As the aunt of 6 year old “future paleontologist”, I have learned a good deal about dinosaurs and fossils in the last couple years. I have been looking forward all summer to reading The Dinosaur A...

  • Scribe Publications

    The Dinosaur Artist is a tale that has everything: passion, science, politics, intrigue, and, of course, dinosaurs. Paige Williams is a wonderful storyteller. Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-Prize-Winning...

  • Paul

    The Dinosaur Hunter starts with controversy then maps the geography of the fossil landscape, from hunters to politics to jealousies and poachers. Williams covers the history of paleontology as well th...

  • Lizz DiCesare

    Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I love dinosaurs, so when I received a copy of The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy, by Paige Williams, I...

  • Erin

    Did you have a dinosaur phase? If you’ve ever stared at a giant dino skeleton in a museum (or uh, watched Jurassic Park) and had your imagination piqued, think about cracking open THE DINOSAUR ARTIS...

  • Greg Richardson

    This book is a true tragedy. There's an awesome story to be told and, eventually, that story is told. There's just way too much extraneous information included in this book to make it worth recommendi...

  • Peter Tillman

    Closing out as DNF, as my library copy is coming due. I enjoyed her 2014 New Yorker article, which was the start of the book: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals..., but the emboideries on that didn...

  • Marie

    When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I have always been fascinated with dinosaurs. This is a story of Eric Prokopi who was a fossil hunter and dealer. He started looking for fossils when he ...