Jurassic Haul: Stan the T-Rex Skeleton Sells for $31.8 Million, Becoming the Most Expensive Dinosaur Ever
Who would have thought a T.rex could be so popular?
When Christie announced the auction of Stan, one of the most tactful Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons ever discovered, no one expected it to be a cheap acquisition. Original estimates suggest the piece could fetch up to $ 8 million - not a small sum. But on Tuesday night, Stan quadrupled those estimates to make a whopping $ 31.85 million. The sum was due in part to the skeletal condition, making Stan the most expensive dinosaur fossil ever sold. The lucky, anonymous new owner put in the winning bid over the phone during a heated sale that saw collectors clamoring to make it theirs.
The specimen soars over humans 13 feet tall and 40 feet long from head to tail, and is one of only about 50 more or less complete T-Rex skeletons ever found. Most of the comparable examples are in museums and other public institutions, which makes this opportunity all the juicier for those who want to literally own a piece of prehistory.
Originally found in 1987 by amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison (the namesake of this skeleton), it was initially mistakenly identified as the more common Triceratops skeleton before being correctly labeled in 1992. After more than 30,000 hours of painstaking and painstaking excavation, the soil was cleared. It spent most of its youngest life at the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota, where it was studied by scientists for two decades. With 188 bones, including a remarkably intact skull, the skeleton is considered special even among its undiluted counterparts for being complete. Researchers estimate that Stan would have weighed between seven and eight tons during his lifetime and that his bones show signs of a difficult existence, such as the fused cervical vertebrae that indicate a broken neck.
“I'll never forget the moment I first met him after his re-ascent in Colorado - he looked even bigger and wilder than I had imagined, a specimen that will only further establish the T.rex Position as the King of Dinosaurs, ”said James Hyslop, Christie's director of Scientific Instruments, Globes and Natural History, in a statement that led to the sale.
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