One of the largest, most complete and most famous Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons is about to go under the hammer. The dinosaur, nicknamed “Stan,” has been on display in the Black Hills Institute for decades, but will now be auctioned off by Christie’s to whoever has a spare few million dollars and a T-rex-sized space on hand.
Named after palaeontologist Stan Sacrison who discovered the first bones in 1987, Stan is a magnificent specimen of one of the most incredible creatures to have ever walked the planet. He stands 13 feet (4 m) high at the hip and stretches 40 feet (12 m) long from snout to tail, and is estimated to have weighed between 7 and 8 tons – putting him not far behind Scotty as one of the largest Tyrannosaurs ever found.
Made up of 188 original bones, Stan is also the fifth-most complete T-rex, behind other celebrities like Sue and Trix. He does however sport the most complete skull of his kind, packing 58 dagger-sharp teeth up to 11 inches (28 cm) long.
Nothing gets to be this big and powerful without some challengers, and Stan still sports the battle scars of a violent life. He has puncture marks on his rib, under his jaw and on the back of his head, which appear to have been inflicted by other Tyrannosaurs. Amazingly, Stan even suffered a broken neck at some point in his life and survived, with two of his vertebrae fusing together as it healed.
All of this history is now up for sale. After being re-mounted, Stan was unveiled to the public this week at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York, where he’ll remain on public display until October 21.
On October 6, Stan will be a headline act of Christie’s Evening Sale of 20th Century Art, where he’s expected to sell for at least US$6 to 8 million. There are rumblings that he could go for more than that however, meaning he might nab the crown for highest amount ever paid for a dinosaur fossil. That record is currently held by the T-Rex Sue, which was sold for $8.3 million back in 1997.
While there’s no telling where Stan might end up, it would be sad to lose such a spectacular scientific specimen to a private collector. Hopefully, he gets picked up by or donated to an institute or museum, so the world can continue to marvel at this ancient wonder.