76 million-year-old dinosaur fossil sells at auction for $6.1 million

An unknown buyer has a new skeleton in their closet.

July 28, 2022, 1:33 PM

A skeleton of one of history's most ferocious predators sold at auction for just over $6 million to an unknown buyer on Thursday.

Sotheby's had announced earlier this month that a fossilized Gorgosaurus, a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, was set to be the highlight of a Natural History auction in New York.

The "exhibition-ready mounted skeleton" ended up selling for $6,069,500, according to Sotheby's.

The specimen was expected to fetch anywhere from $5 million to $8 million in the auction house's presale estimates.

It is the first skeleton of its kind to go to private auction.

People walk around a Gorgosaurus Skeleton on display during a press preview at Sotheby's on July 5, 2022 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

According to the Natural History Museum, Gorgosaurus, which means "fierce lizard," was found in Canada and western parts of the United States.

Although smaller in size compared to his Tyrannosaurus rex relatives, the Gorgosaurus was faster and had a stronger bite force, according to scientists.

The fossil is 76 million years old and is nearly 10 feet tall and 22 feet long. The skull alone is just over 3 feet long. The complete skeleton includes 79 separate pieces.

It was discovered on private land in 2018 in the Judith River Formation near Havre, Montana, according to the auction house.

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