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Complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton with nearly 300 bones sells for $8 million at auction

Complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton with nearly 300 bones sells for $8 million at auction

Honestly, unless you live in a museum, where do you even display such an item?

Some utter legend has forked out a massive $8 million (USD$5.3 million, £5.3 million) to own the full skeleton of what was once a real-life dinosaur.

Honestly, unless you live in a museum, where do you even display such an item?

And, if you do live there, let's hope to God the movie Night At the Museum isn't actually a documentary with displays coming to life at night. Or, worse: Imagine if Jurassic Park became reality.

Anyway, we digress. Back to the original story.

The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton comprises of nearly 300 bones and measures 38 feet (11.6 meters) in length and 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) in height.

It has also been posed with the classic open-mouth stance we've come to know and love.

Trinity the dinosaur.
Koller Auktionen

Cheers for that, Jurassic Park.

Anyway, the massive skeleton went under the hammer at Koller Auktionen in Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday (April 18), coming in at significantly less than expected.

Apparently buying a set of dinosaur bones for $8 million is a steal these days.

But then again, a dinosaur? That's going straight to the pool room.

As per the Koller Auktionen website, the dinosaur, nicknamed 'Trinity', was the 'undisputed star of the auction'.

"[At] approximately 67-million-years-old [is the] TRX-293 TRINITY Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton," the website reads.

"For the first time in Europe and only the third time worldwide, a skeleton of an entire T-rex dinosaur of exceptional quality will be offered at auction.

"With an astonishing length of 11.6 meters (38 feet) and a towering height of 3.9 meters (12.8 feet), Trinity is one of the most spectacular T-rex skeletons in existence, a well-preserved and brilliantly restored fossil."

The cover of their auction guide for 'Out Of This World'.
Koller Auktionen

Speaking to the ABC, Koller Head of Marketing Karl Green revealed why the dinosaur may have only sold for a paltry 5.5 million Swiss francs (AUD$9.1 million, USD$6.1 million, £4.9 million), including the buyer's premium and fees.

"It could be that it was a composite — that could be why the purists didn't go for it," he said.

"It's a fair price for the dino. I hope it's going to be shown somewhere in public."

He did not identify the buyer - so we can't knock on their front door and ask them if they'll let us visit Trinity, unfortunately - but he did admit the monster bones were sold to a private European collector.

The composite dinosaur was built from specimens that were dug up at three sites in the United States.

The bones that would go on to form 'Trinity' were exhumed in Hell Creek and Lance Creek of Montana and Wyoming between 2008 and 2013.

However, original bone material made up more than half of Trinity's skeleton.

The auction house added that finding a T-rex skull is a particularly rare feat, and it was also remarkably well-preserved.

Trinity in her full glory.
Koller Auktionen

Scientific adviser Nils Knoetschke, who was quoted in the auction catalog, explained why finding a T-rex head is such a rare occurrence.

"When dinosaurs died in the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods, they often lost their heads during deposition [of the remains into rocks]," he said.

The T-rex dinosaur roamed Earth as recently as 65 million years ago.

And, for the record, other dinosaurs who have been bought and sold include Sue, Stan, and Big John, as per the ABC.

Sue, a Tyrannosaurus rex, was purchased by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History for $US8.4 million ($12.5 million), in 1997.

In 2020, another T-rex called Stan sold for nearly $US32 million ($47.4 million) in 2020.

And two years ago, the coolest dinosaur to ever roam the planet (as per this writer's opinion), the triceratops, sold at a Paris auction for 6.6 million euros ($10.8 million) to a private collector.

That one was named Big John. Sounds like a good name for a cool dude, if you ask us.

Topics: Science, Money, News, World News, Weird