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In Switzerland, the skeleton of the most famous dinosaur was auctioned for $5.3 million

On Tuesday, a unique auction took place in Zurich: a complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex was put up for sale – only for the third time in history.

The new owner of the Trinity dinosaur was an unknown buyer, a “private collector from Europe,” who paid 4.75 million Swiss francs (about $5.3 million) for the bones.

The height of the skeleton is about 4 m, the length is 11.6 m, so even when packed it is nine boxes of a very impressive size. It was in this form that Trinity was put up for auction by the auction house Koller.

However, a huge dinosaur skull was taken out for the duration of the auction: it rested at the foot of the auctioneer’s podium.

In the catalog, the lot was listed under the name TRX-293. The name of the frightening lizard is easily guessed in the abbreviation, and 293 is the number of bones that make up Trinity’s skeleton.

You can learn more about the unique exhibit by looking through the virtual catalog on the seller’s website.

Anyone could take part in the auction – however, journalists warned that there was nothing to do with empty pockets.

To date, a complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton has only been offered for auction twice, in 1997 and 2020. The first, nicknamed Sue, went under the hammer for $12.5 million. The second – Stan – was sold for a record 47.4 million dollars.

The final price was slightly lower than that predicted by experts. Before the start of trading, it was expected that the transaction amount would be at least 5 million francs.

However, in total – taking into account the associated costs – Trinity’s skeleton will cost an unknown collector a little more: $6.1 million.

Karl Green, head of marketing at auction house Koller, suggested that the reason for the relatively low demand was the lack of “cleanliness” of the exhibit for purist buyers. Though over half of Trinity’s fully restored skeleton is “original bone material”.

Trinity’s skeleton does not belong to any one individual but is made up of the remains of several tyrannosaurs. Luckily, the skull of one of them was preserved well enough not to have to add fragments from other sets.

“It’s a fair price for a dinosaur,” Green’s comment was quoted by the AFP news agency. “Hopefully they put it up somewhere publicly accessible.”

Museum exhibit?

The attention of the world press to the trades in Zurich was due to their uniqueness. To date, only 32 representatives of the genus Tyrannosaurus Rex have been found in the world. The number of complete skeletons of a fossil predator can be completely counted on the fingers.

The exhibit, which changed hands on Tuesday, has been in private hands in recent years, something several paleontologists oppose. They insist that dinosaur skeletons should not be transferred to private ownership at all, as this could hinder scientific research.

But the main thing is that this can make it difficult for ordinary people, not specialists, to access the unique exhibit.

According to Christian Link, who is responsible for paleontological lots at Koller, representatives of several museums were interested in buying Trinity during the preparation of the auction. But in the end, the skeleton again went to a private collector.

Why Trinity

According to experts, it is exceptional luck to find a relatively preserved dinosaur skeleton in its entirety, so it is allowed to “assemble” exhibits from several sets of remains.

It is for this reason that the sold skeleton bears the name Trinity (that is, the Trinity): it is constructed from the remains of three individuals.

Most of the bones were found in Hell Creek and Lance Creek (Northeast USA) – in the same place where other tyrannosaurs were found before.

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