First-Ever Gorgosaurus Skeleton Sells at Auction for $6.1 Million to Unknown Buyer – Scientists Are Frustrated

These fossils brought in a fortune.

A dinosaur skeleton, the first of its kind, was up for auction at Sotheby’s Natural History Live Auction in New York on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

The 77 million year old fossil, belonging to a Gorgosaurus, was sold for $6.1 million to an unknown buyer.

The bidder was also granted the right to name the dinosaur skeleton.

Sotheby’s noted in a press release that the Gorgosaurus skeleton was one of the most valuable dinosaurs ever sold.

This Gorgosaurus was the first to appear in an auction, already – and is one of only 20 known to exist.

The dinosaur belonging to the Tyrannosaurid family was nearly 10 feet tall and 22 feet long.

The carnivore ruled during the Late Cretaceous period, originating in the region now known as western North America, according to Sotheby’s.

These fossils were found in the Judith River Formation near Havre, Montana, in 2018, which is a rare find south of the Canadian border.

A Gorgosaurus skeleton
The skeleton sold for $6.1 million.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP

Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, Cassandra Hatton, shared in a statement ahead of the auction that the prehistoric relic was inspirational.

“I have had the privilege of handling and selling many exceptional and unique items,” she said.

“But few have the ability to inspire wonder and capture the imagination like this incredible Gorgosaurus skeleton.”

But scientists and dinosaur experts aren’t so optimistic about the historical exchange.

Although the sale of the dinosaur appears to be legal, Carthage College paleontologist Thomas Carr said in an interview with The New York Times that he was “disgusted” by the lack of consideration for the scarcity of fossils available to the public.

“I am totally disgusted, saddened and disappointed because of the massive damage the loss of these specimens will have for science,” he told the publication. “It is a disaster.”

A Gorgosaurus skeleton
Only 20 of the rare dino skeletons are known.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP

The expert established that there are around 50 T. rex specimens – from complete skeletons to singular bones – in public trust for research access, while the same amount is held privately.

The number of Gorgosaurus specimens available for study is even smaller.

“The value of dinosaurs is not the price someone will pay,” he said.

“That’s the information they contain.”

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