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Jurassic Farce: The Sequel

"I do believe Boyce gave it his all to try to get this sold," Miller says. "But it's odd to me that this was a group of businessmen from Rapid City."

Boyce and his South Dakota attorney did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Ed Ramey, Boyce's Denver attorney, says his client "might have" acted as an agent in the purchase, but he doesn't know that for a fact. "He was beating the bushes to gin up interest in this auction," Ramey says. "As far as I know, everybody's disappointed across the board by the outcome."

Levi Morgan, a spokesman for Bonhams and Butterfields, says that the auction house has no knowledge of Boyce acting in a dual -- and conflicting -- role in the sale. "Mr. Boyce was not the purchaser of record," Morgan says. "Any buyer can request the assistance of others to bid."

It bites: One of Barnum's teeth.
It bites: One of Barnum's teeth.

The identity of auction bidders is often a closely guarded secret, and the true identity of Barnum's current owners may not be known for some time. Not, at least, until the splenetic specimen shows up on the market again...poised to strike.

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