Tyrannosaurus rex to be auctioned in Switzerland
A tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, a species that lived 67 million years ago, will be auctioned on April 18 in Switzerland, a first in Europe, the Koller house announced on Saturday.
Called “Trinity”, the complete specimen of almost 3.9 meters in height and 11.6 meters in length is estimated at between 6.11 and 8.15 million euros (6 and 8 million Swiss francs), according to the catalog of this house based in Zurich.
“This is a very low estimate”, warned the expert in natural history of the house Koller, Christian Link, while we are witnessing a real enthusiasm among buyers for this type of relic.
Trinity “is one of the most spectacular extant T rex skeletons, a well-preserved and brilliantly restored fossil,” according to the auction house.
This will be “the third time in the world and the first time in Europe” that a tyrannosaurus rex skeleton has been put up for sale, according to the Koller house, which insists on the rare quality of the T rex skeleton.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a fossil of such quality,” said expert Christian Link, recalling that most such specimens are in museums.
The Trinity skeleton was assembled for more than half using bones from three different T rex specimens found between 2008 and 2013 in formations in Montana and Wyoming (northwest) in the United States, again according to the catalog of the sale.
The head of the tyrannosaurus belongs to one of these three T rex and it is “incredibly well preserved”, argued the expert.
The auction house wants to be transparent about the origin of the different parts of the skeleton, explained Christian Link.
Last year the auction house Christie's had to withdraw a few days from the sale to Hong Kong of another T rex skeleton — also from Montana — due to doubts about parts of the skeleton.
Only 32 skeletons of adult T rex — among the largest predators to have lived on Earth — have been found in the world so far, according to a study published in 2021 by the scientific journal Nature.
Sales of skeletons of dinosaurs regularly enliven the evenings of auction, even if it means frustrating the paleontologists, who see there a less chance to expose them in museums.
A complete skeleton of Gorgosaurus, a species of dinosaur cousin of the T rex and having lived more than 77 million years ago, was sold in July at auction by Sotheby's in New York for 5.72 million euros.
In May, also in New York, but at Christie's, a skeleton of Deinonychus antirrhopus, which had inspired the Velociraptor of Steven Spielberg's film “Jurassic Park” (1993), had been sold for 12.4 million dollars, including costs, to an Asian client.< /p>
This price, more than double its estimate, made it the second highest priced auction era for a dinosaur skeleton, far from the big star, however, a tyrannosaurus rex left in 2020 for 31.8 million dollars.