A finished skeleton of a Gorgosaurus dinosaur that roamed the earth 77 million years ago was sold for $6.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday (July 28), making it one of the most valuable dinosaur skeletons ever sold at auction.
The skeleton measures nearly 10 feet tall and 22 feet long.
“The estimate is $5 to $8 million,” said Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of the Science and Popular Culture Department, in advance of the sale. “Recently the market for dinosaurs – it seems so funny to say this, the market is really hot for dinosaurs, and we’ve seen some really strong prices. But we have had a lot of rare specimens. This is probably the rarest.”
The skeleton was found in 2018 in the Judith River Formation in Montana. It was preserved due to the sediments of the river ecosystem.
“Because it was found in the U.S., that means we can actually sell it, and that is part of what makes this dinosaur so rare,” Hatton said. “There’s only been a handful of specimens that have been found. They’re all in museums. This is the only one that’s in commerce.”
The Gorgosaurus is a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex, but slightly smaller in size. A typical adult male could weigh up to two tons.