Tyrannosaurus rex to be auctioned in Switzerland

Tyrannosaurus rex to be auctioned in Switzerland

Trinity’s skeleton was more than half assembled using bones from three different T-rex specimens found between 2008 and 2013 in the United States. Oliver NANZIG / KOLLER AUCTION HOUSE / AFP

The complete specimen, 3.9 meters high and 11.6 meters long, will be auctioned on April 18 by Koller. Incredibly well preserved, it is estimated between 5 and 8 million Swiss francs.

A skeleton of tyrannosaurus rexa 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 between 6.11 and 8.15 million euros (6 and 8 million Swiss francs), according to the catalog of this house based in Zurich. “That’s a very low estimate,” warned the expert in natural history of the house Koller, Christian Link, while we are witnessing a real enthusiasm of buyers for this type of relics. Trinity”is one of the most spectacular extant T-rex skeletons, a well-preserved and brilliantly restored fossil“, according to the auction house.

It will be “the third time in the world and the first time in Europe” that a tyrannosaur rex skeleton is put up for sale, according to the Koller house, which insists on the rare quality of the skeleton of the specimen. “This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a fossil of such quality.”said expert Christian Link, recalling that most specimens of this type can be found in museums.

“Incredibly well-preserved head”

Trinity’s 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 sale catalog. The head of the tyrannosaur 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 where the different parts of the skeleton are coming from, Christian Link explained. Last year the auction house Christie’s had to withdraw a few days from the sale in Hong Kong another T-rex skeleton – also from Montana – because of doubts about parts of the frame.

Only 32 skeletons of adult T-rex – among the largest predators to have lived on Earth – have been found so far in the world, according to a study published in 2021 by the scientific journal Nature. Putting them up for sale regularly enlivens auction evenings, even if it means frustrating paleontologists, who see in them a reduction in the chances of exhibiting 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 the film Jurassic Park of Steven Spielberg (1993), had been awarded for 12.4 million dollars, fees included, to an Asian client.

This price, more than double its estimate, made it the second most expensive auction for a dinosaur skeleton, far from the big star, a tyrannosaurus rex. gone in 2020 for $31.8 million.

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