Nic Cage My T-Rex Skull Was Stolen?! ... Fine, I'll Give It Back

12/22/2015 6:39 AM PST

Nic Cage -- My T-Rex Skull Was Stolen?!?!? ... Fine, I'll Give It Back

The Mongolian government says it's finally getting its missing Tyrannosaurus skull back -- and it appears they've got Nic Cage to thank! 

The 65 MILLION year old skull was auctioned off in Manhattan back in 2007 -- after it was smuggled into the U.S. ... and multiple reports say it was ultimately purchased by Cage for $276k. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies worked like hell to track down the skull --and say the current owner (most likely Cage) gave it up without a fight.  

Cage outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull ... according to multiple reports. 

FYI -- Cage is not accused of any wrongdoing ... but officials are clearly gunning for the person they believe smuggled the bones into the U.S. in the first place. 

Apparently, there's a HUGE black market for dinosaur bones stolen out of Mongolia ... and officials are still working to track down 3 MORE T-Rex skeletons -- along with the fossils of several other dinos.