A Gorgosaurus skeleton went up for auction at Sotheby’s on Thursday and sold for $6.1 million.
Nearly 10 feet tall and 22 feet long, the Gorgosaurus is a member of the fierce Tyrannosaurid family, which existed on Earth about 77 million years ago in what is now western North America.
The sale marked the first time that Sotheby’s New York has sold a finished dinosaur since “Sue,” a T-Rex, sold in 1997. Unlike Sue, which now resides at the Field Museum in Chicago, the Gorgosaurus doesn’t have a name. The unknown buyer will have the right to name it.
“The result places the Gorgosaurus among the most valuable dinosaurs ever sold at auction, and establishes a new benchmark for a Gorgosaurus skeleton,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
Living in the late Cretaceous era, the beast, whose name means “dreadful lizard,” was slightly smaller and lighter than the related T-Rex, but it was much faster and fiercer. With long, serrated teeth, the Gorgosaurus was able to easily cut into thick skin and tear into the flesh of prey.
The specimen in question was unearthed in 2018 in the Judith River Formation near Havre, Mont.—an exceptional discovery, because such dinosaurs had rarely been found south of the Canadian border.
As part of the Natural History auction, the ancient skeleton drove the total sale to $7.6 million and was the most valuable sale for the category at Sotheby’s. A Triceratops skull fetched $661 500. The skull, dating to approximately 66 million years ago, is 90 inches long and 57 inches wide.
Other items on the auction list include articulated Allosaurus leg bones, which sold for $163,800, and a complete T-Rex rooted tooth, which went for $100 800.