Here are the details:
The discovery was made near the Mountain Fork River in southeastern Oklahoma in 1983 and dug out of a corporate waste-holding pit over a period of four years. The Corporation had given the two men permission to dig, but did not take their excavation seriously. After the corporation learned the value of the dinosaur, the two amateurs were forced to battle the Corporation and its friends in government and academia over ownership rights to the dinosaur.
The story played out over a period of two decades and the dinosaur eventually sold for 3 million dollars to the North Carolina Museum of Science as an unfinished specimen – the highest price ever paid for an unfinished and uncasted dinosaur skeleton. The Acrocanthosaurus, an extremely rare find, became the State Dinosaur of Oklahoma on June 6, 2007, when a bill granting that distinction was passed into law by the Oklahoma State Legislature. The excavation marked the first time in history when two amateurs (rockhounds) successfully excavated a major dinosaur quarry totally independent of any back-up financial or logistical support from a major university or commercial fossil entity.
This was also the first (and only) articulated skeleton ever found of this horrific apex predator that ruled the North American continent during the Early Cretaceous (145-100 mya) - about 50 million years before T.rex. Until this recovery, only a few scattered pieces of the creature had been found and identified. This single discovery allowed scientists to put the puzzle together and construct a full-cast replica of this giant carnivorous monster. This was truly one of the greatest dinosaur discoveries (and excavations) in the history of paleontology.
The specimen was nicknamed Fran after the wife of Allan Graffham, a commercial paleontologist in Ardmore, Oklahoma, who purchased the dinosaur from Hall and Love
Russell Ferrell's book blends science and history with an entralling adventure story. The attention to detail and years of research are obvious from the beginning of this book, and will be a treat for anyone who enjoys learning more about the impact of discovering and recovery pieces of ancient history right in our own backyard.
This is a fascinating book, and I highly urge anyone with an interest in dinosaurs to go out and meet Russell Ferrell and learn more about his intriguing novel.
For more information, check out the website at http://www.thebonesofcontention.com/