Nearly 300 Tyrannosaurus rex bones dug up from three sites in the United States and assembled into a single skeleton have sold at auction for nearly €4.9m at an auction in Zurich, below the expected price range. The unidentified buyer is said to be a European private collector.
Crafted into an open-mouth pose, the T. rex that measures 11.6 metres long and 3.9 metres high, came in below the anticipated range of €5m to €8m as the skeleton went under the hammer at Koller auction house.
Promoters say the composite T. rex, dubbed “Trinity,” was built from specimens retrieved from three sites in the Hell Creek and Lance Creek formations of Montana and Wyoming between 2008 and 2013.
Swiss auction house Koller said “original bone material” comprises more than half of the restored fossil. The auction house said the skull was particularly rare and also remarkably well-preserved.
T. rex roamed the Earth between 65 and 67 million years ago. A study published two years ago in the Science journal estimated that about 2.5 billion of the dinosaurs roamed the earth at that time.
The auction house said Tuesday’s sale, part of a wider sale of artefacts, marks the first time such a T. rex skeleton has gone up for auction in Europe.
Two years ago, a triceratops skeleton that the Guinness World Records declared as the world’s biggest, known as “Big John,” was sold for 6.6 million euros to a private collector at a Paris auction.