The skeleton of the T-Rex dinosaur nicknamed Stan was sold at Christie’s New York auction for a record price of $ 31.8 million.
The starting price was estimated to be between $ 6 million and $ 8 million. During 15 minutes of the heated bidding, the cost rose to $ 27.5 million. And when including the respective taxes, the total collection rose to 31.8 million. The sale set a new world record for any dinosaur skeleton or fossil ever sold at auction. The buyer remained anonymous.
At nearly 4 meters tall and 12 meters long, including his tail, Stan is made up of 188 bones, making him one of the largest and most complete T-Rex skeletons in the world. It lived about 67 million years ago. Experts believe he was in his 20s when he died.
The first of its bones were found in 1987 by Stan Sacrison, an amateur paleontologist, in the Hell Creek Formation that spans parts of the US states of Montana, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming.
It took more than 30,000 hours of manual labor to excavate and restore the skeleton. Since then, researchers have found that Stan survived a broken neck in his lifetime, after which two of his vertebrae fused together. There are also signs of puncture wounds to his skull and a rib that may have been caused by another T-Rex.
The skeleton was auctioned off by the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota, where the T-Rex had been exhibited and studied for the past two decades. The replicas of this dinosaur are in various museums around the world.
The skeleton is on display at Rockefeller Center in New York until October 21 and is fully visible 24 hours a day from the street through the windows of Christie’s headquarters.
“This special viewing opportunity will offer enthusiasts and pedestrians alike the opportunity to see and learn about one of the world’s most iconic dinosaurs in a socially distant setting,” said James Hyslop, head of the department of science and natural history at Christie’s.
The previous record for a fossil specimen dates back to 1997 when Sotheby’s auction house sold a dinosaur named Sue for $ 8.3 million. With 250 bones, Sue is considered a more complete T-Rex and was purchased by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
The skeleton was part of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale, which auctioned 59 works spanning the 20th and 21st centuries.