UK auction house Christie’s plans to sell the skeleton of one of the largest known Tyrannosaurus rexes in early October, the company said on Wednesday.
The approximately 67 million year old dinosaur known as “STAN” was discovered in 1987 in South Dakota by amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison.
“He showed it to scientists at the time who unfortunately mistakenly identified him as a triceratops,” James Hyslop, head of science and natural history at Christie, told Reuters.
Triceratops remains are relatively common in the paleontological world, so the bones did not receive much interest until Sacrison took them to the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota in 1992.
The researchers there “realized pretty quickly that they had something special on their hands,” Hyslop said. They reclassified STAN as T rex and started a new search to find the rest of the bones. They recovered 188 out of an estimated 300 for all of T rex, Hyslop said.
Most of T rex’s skeletons are held by museums and private institutions. The auction is the opportunity for a private collector or institution to acquire the bones, Christie’s said.
STAN is 40 feet long and 13 feet tall, Christie’s said. It is also notable for two fused vertebrae that scientists have identified in its neck, suggesting that the dinosaur broke its neck and survived while alive. “The clue is in the name, the Tyrannosaurus rex,” Hyslop said. “He’s the tyrant Lizard King.”
Christie’s will display the dinosaur from Wednesday to mid-October at its Manhattan, New York location, the company said. He plans to book socially distant tours for the public.
“We have the skull displayed at ground level so you can get closer to it and just see the serrations on its teeth,” Hyslop said. “His longest tooth is 11 inches long. It’s just terrifying to see.
Christie’s estimated the dinosaur to be worth $ 6-8 million.
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