New York: The US government seized a gigantic tyrannosaurus skeleton on Friday from a New York warehouse. The crates holding the Tyrannosaurus bataar fossil were held at a Queens storage facility.
The Mongolian government and a dinosaur expert called it an important step towards returning the skeleton to its home in Mongolia.
The skeleton, about eight feet (2.43 meters) tall and a whopping 24 feet (7.31m) wide, was locked up at Cadogan-Tate Art storage facility after being sold to last month at Heritage Auctions for USD 1.05 million.
The tyrannosaurus -- a tarbosaurus bataar -- walked Central Asia`s Gobi Desert in China on two feet at the end of the Cretaceous period, some 70 million years ago.
Earlier, in May 2010, the skeleton was shipped to Florida from Britain.
But according to documents filed on Monday in US District Court in New York, it is alleged to have been illegally imported from Britain through false claims about what it was and its value.
In 1924, Mongolia determined that fossils are national property, and their export is strictly forbidden.