Curse of T-Rex

About the Show

Sold at auction at Sotheby's in October 1997 for over $8 million, Sue, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, is the subject of this documentary which chronicles the dark side of the public's obsession with dinosaurs. It covers the imposing FBI raid that confiscated Sue and gathered tons of evidence, allegedly implicating Sue's discoverers in widespread fossil theft from federal lands. Peter Larson and his partners at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota, the largest commercial fossil dealer in the world, were among those charged. Though ownership of Sue triggered the immediate dispute, the deeper issue was the epidemic of fossil poaching from federal lands in America, where some of the finest fossils in the world have been found. Fossil collecting had been pursued mainly by hobbyists and a handful of academic paleontologists, but it is now a lucrative business with international collectors and museums inflating fossil prices.