Science & Technology

Skeleton of 77-million-year-old dinosaur up for auction in New York

New York, Jul 5 (EFE).- The complete fossilized skeleton of a Gorgosaurus, a dinosaur standing about 3 meters (10 feet) high and more than 6 meters long that lived 77 million years ago, will be put up for auction this month by Sotheby’s in New York City, and expectations are that it will bring between $5 million and $8 million.

The skeleton of this carnivore of the tyrannosaurid family lived in western North America during the Late Cretaceous Period, was found in 2018 in Montana and is the only example of the species available to private collectors, given that all other specimens are housed in museums and other institutions.

Sotheby’s, in a statement released on Tuesday, said that this is one of the most valuable dinosaur skeletons ever to be put on the market and will be the central piece in its natural history auction scheduled to be held on July 28.

The Gorgosaurus was a close relative of the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex – although the latter lived some 10 million years later – and, although it was somewhat smaller than its more famous cousin, the two ancient meateaters shared many characteristics, including having large heads, a mouthful of curved and serrated teeth and small two-fingered forearms.

A male adult weighed up to two tons and some paleontologists speculate that the Gorgosaurus was faster, even more ferocious and had stronger jaws than T. rex, according to Sotheby’s.

The specimen to be auctioned was, at the time of its death, a large adult and its cranium was especially well preserved, according to the auction house, which emphasized the “immaculate” condition of the skeleton thanks to the characteristics of the ecosystem where the fossil was found.

The skeleton will be displayed to the public staring on July 21 at Sotheby’s New York gallery.

The auction house has a long history of selling dinosaur fossils and in 1997 was the first to offer a complete skeleton, the famous T. rex known as “Sue,” which was sold for $8.36 million and can be seen at Chicago’s Field Museum.

EFE mvs/fjo/szg/bp

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