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A unique relative of the T-rex sold for 62 million

The auction took place at Sotheby’s New York on Thursday. Total sales ended up at $6,069,500, roughly 62 million Swedish kronor. The skeleton, which has attracted a lot of attention, was discovered in 2018 near Havre, Montana in the western United States. Sotheby’s has not yet released information about the identity of the buyer.

A limited number of Gorgosaurus fossils have been discovered before, mostly in Alberta, Canada, but they are all housed in museums. None of them have previously been auctioned, and it is indicated that such a sale would be impossible in Canada.

The province of Alberta has very strict laws regarding fossil protection—there’s a Gorgosaurus that wouldn’t end up on the auction table. But different rules apply in the United States, which American researchers regret.

– It is annoying every time a fossil is sold, the buyer is likely to be an ordinary person. It destroys the possibilities of studies that could provide new knowledge, Gregory Erickson, a paleontologist at Florida State University and one of the world’s leading experts on predatory dinosaurs, tells Smithsonian Magazine.

Gorgosaurus predatory dinosaur skeleton for auction.

Gorgosaurus predatory dinosaur skeleton for auction.

Photo: Peter Foley/TT

Another world, the world of ancient fossils Kat Schroeder of the University of New Mexico is also very important.

It is disappointing to see a wonderful specimen of a rare dinosaur at worst on its way to a private collector. They are often inaccessible to researchers, or destroyed when they are rebuilt or when moved, she says.

Gorgosaurus (“terrible lizard”) was first described in 1914. Only one species, Gorgosaurus libratus, is known. It lived 76.6 to 75.1 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, and was most likely a terrifying predator that lived on herbivorous dinosaurs.

It belongs to the same family as the famous Tyrannosaurus rex, and just like it had a huge head with huge jaws, but small arms. However, they were not contemporaneous, the dinosaur lived much later, 68 to 66 million years ago. Gorgosaurus was also much smaller, weighing about 2.5 tons, compared to a tyrannosaurus that weighed about 9 tons.

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