Legal tussle over dinosaur skeleton

A New York judge is having doubts about letting the US government keep a dinosaur skeleton it seized for its eventual shipment to Mongolia.

Federal Judge Kevin Castel said in an order that an earlier hearing made him question assumptions the government made in asking to seize the dinosaur bones.

Federal agents took the fossil in June after it was sold by a Dallas-based auction house.

The judge gave the government until September 21 to explain better why it is entitled to keep the Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton.

A lawyer for a Florida fossils dealer says his client is entitled to keep the skeleton he spent a year putting together.

The judge says there is "a serious question" as to whether the government sufficiently supported its contention the skeleton originated in Mongolia because it apparently contains parts of multiple dinosaurs.