One of the world’s oldest dinosaur relatives will be auctioned off in New York City this month, Sotheby’s revealed this week.
Sotheby’s natural history sale on July 28 will include a Gorgosaurus skeleton, the auction company said.
During the late Cretaceous period, the Gorgosaurus existed in what is now western Canada and the United States. It was 10 million years older than its close cousin, the Tyrannosaurus rex.
According to Sotheby’s, the specimen on the market was found in 2018 in the Judith River Formation near the town of Havre, Montana. This dinosaur is about ten feet tall and almost 22 feet long.
The only other confirmed Gorgosaurus skeletons are housed in museums, thus this is the only one that can be purchased by the general public, according to the auction house. It is expected to sell for between $5 million and $8 million at Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate.
Known as the “fierce” or “terrifying lizard,” the Gorgosaurus was a part of the Tyrannosaurid family. Around 77 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the western region of North America. Paleontologists think the Gorgosaurus was even quicker and more savage than the Tyrannosaurus rex, the most well-known dinosaur. According to Sotheby’s, experts think the Gorgosaurus possessed the strongest bite of any animal on the planet today.
In the last several years, dinosaur bones have fetched millions of dollars at auction. As of 2020, the most costly dinosaur skeleton ever put up for auction was a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as “Stan.” In May, Christie’s sold a deinonychus skeleton for $12.4 million, which was the inspiration for the velociraptors in the Jurassic Park films. Experts in the field of dinosaur paleontology strongly oppose private sales of dinosaur skeletons because they encourage the theft and looting of bones and restrict researchers from obtaining specimens for study.