One of the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils is set to be auctioned off by Christie's next month. The T-Rex is expected to fetch bids of between $6 million to $8 million once it is placed on the auction block on October 6.
The specimen, which is estimated to be around 67 million years old, will be placed on display at Christie's Rockefeller Center starting this week. According to Christie's chief executive officer, Guillaume Cerutti, placing the fossil on display should allow the public and any potential buyers to see the item before it goes to its new owner. He added that the 40-foot-long fossil, which has been lovingly named Stan, should also serve as a momentary attraction for New York residents during these tough times.
"We believe that after these challenging times, it was important to start the new season with something positive - a moment of joy," the executive stated.
The fossil is one of only 50 similarly complete specimens ever discovered. The majority of those found are currently on display in various museums worldwide. The particular fossil features 188 bones with a skull that has been classified as being in "pristine" condition. Prior to it being placed in New York, the fossil was on display at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota.
Stan was originally discovered in 1987 by amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison. It was unearthed near the Hell Creek Formation in an area called the Cretaceous Badlands between North Dakota And South Dakota. It was initially misidentified as being a Triceratops but was later recognized as a T-Rex in 1992. It took nearly 30,000 hours for paleontologists to dig out all of Stan's bones.
According to paleontologists, Stan would have weighed around 7 to 8 tons when it was still alive. Based on the scarring and damage on the bones, Stan likely led a difficult and violent life. The animal was likely attacked several times as there were several puncture marks on its skull and ribs.
The last T-Rex fossil that was placed up for auction was a semi-complete specimen named "Sue." The fossil was sold at an auction in 1997, with a consortium paying around $8.36 million to win the bid. The consortium included companies such as McDonald's and Walt Disney. The fossil was later donated to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.