If you've ever gone to a museum of natural history and seen an exhibit you wished you could have in your home, listen up. One of the world's two largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons is up for bids. The 67-million-year-old T-Rex bones are going up for auction on October 6 at Christie's of New York, and the unique item could be yours, if you've got a lot of money. It's estimated to sell for between $6 and $8 million dollars, but that doesn't include what is sure to be some hefty shipping and handling charges.
The dinosaur, named "Stan" after the amateur paleontologist who discovered him, was found in 1987 in Montana's Hell Creek Formation. In 1992, it was unearthed, a job that took about 30,000 hours of labor to accomplish. Since then, "Stan," which is comprised of 190 fossilized bones mounted on a custom frame with some cast elements, has been at South Dakota's Black Hills Institute, where he has been studied and written about.
"Stan" stands at 13 feet high and 40 feet long, and during his life, he weighed in at eight tons. His 11-inch long teeth likely helped him eat the Triceratops remains found near where his bones were located. "Stan's" skull also shows evidence of puncture wounds, likely caused by another predator.
Paleontology World wrote about "Stan" noting:
"Stan's skull preserves a number of pathologies, or healed injuries. The cheeks (jugals) and lower jaws reveal the presence of irregular openings that are not duplicated on the opposite side. One possible explanation for these holes is that they were puncture wounds received in battles with another T. rex. Smoothed edges around the holes indicate that the wounds healed in time. Perhaps the most interesting pathology is found at the back of the skull on the bones that make up part of the braincase. A portion of the top of the crest, where the powerful neck muscles once attached is missing. Below this we find a round hole that is a perfect match for a tooth from the lower jaw of another T.rex. Despite very serious injuries, Stan healed and lived to fight another day."
It's probable that a celebrity will be among the bidders on the dinosaur. A few years back, Nicolas Cage paid $276,000 on a seven-million-year-old dinosaur skull, outbidding Leonardo DiCaprio for the artifact. Unfortunately, Cage wound up having to give it up since it turned out it was stolen from the Mongolian government.
According to CNN, "Stan" will be on display through the windows at Christie's in New York City's Rockefeller Center.