Bob the triceratops is one of the largest, most complete triceratops skeletons in the world, but it may have to leave its home in Valley City, North Dakota – unless the museum comes up with $1.4 million to buy it from the group that discovered it.
The herbivorous creature has increased monthly attendance at the Barnes County Historical Society twentyfold – from about 50 people each to 1,000 or more, on average – since it took up residence there, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
But the Barnes County Historical Society many not be home to the triceratops for long.
And it all comes down to finances.
The group is now ready to sell its prized discovery for $1.4 million, which will go towards paying back Hell Creek Relics' investors and to fund additional excavations in the Hell Creek Formation, Komrosky wrote.
Komrosky and the Barnes County Historical Society curator Wes Anderson hope the dinosaur will stay in Valley City, or at least North Dakota, but Anderson told the Grand Forks Herald it'll be tough for the museum to get the money fast enough to save Bob, unless an "angel investor" appears.
It's likely Bob will end up overseas or in a private collection somewhere, Hell Creek Relics notes.
What about Bob?
Bobbi Egeland discovered part of the triceratops' shoulder in 2003 at the Egeland ranch in Bowman County, located in southwestern North Dakota, the Grand Forks Herald says.
It took 21,000 hours over 10 years to get Bob to where he is today – a 26-foot long skeleton that's over 90 percent complete, the Barnes County Historical Society wrote on Facebook.
Bob's skull measures 7 feet, 2 inches long, and its skeleton has some character – its left femur is four inches longer than its right, Hell Creek Relics notes.
The dinosaur is 65 million years old, dating back to the Cretaceous Period in the Hell Creek Formation, which is a division of rock that stretches from eastern Montana to portions of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, Britannica notes.
A variety of fossils have been discovered in the formation, including plants, small Cretaceous mammals and dinosaurs.
Bob went on display at the Barnes County Historical Society in June 2014.