HughPickens.com writes: Nicolas Cage is known as an avid collector, with interests that include real estate, rare cars and comic books: In 2011, he sold a like-new copy of Action Comics No. 1, which featured the first appearance of Superman, for $2.1 million. Now Katie Rogers reports at the NY Times that Cage has agreed to turn over the skull of a Tyrannosaurus bataar. It was the star artifact in a natural history-themed luxury auction in Manhattan, and was sold for $276,000 to an anonymous buyer eight years ago. "Cultural artifacts such as this Bataar Skull represent a part of Mongolian national cultural heritage," says Glenn Sorge. "It belongs to the people of Mongolia. These priceless antiquities are not souvenirs to be sold to private collectors or hobbyists." Several skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus bataar, a large, carnivorous dinosaur that was a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, have been returned to Mongolia in recent years. The private sales of such artifacts have worried paleontologists because it makes it harder for the scientific community to learn more about how the dinosaurs once lived. "We're losing science, we're losing education, we're losing valuable specimens," says Kevin Padian, a paleontologist at University of California, Berkeley.
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