Massive 40ft T-rex skeleton named ‘Stan’ considered one of the most complete of its kind ever found could fetch $8million at New York auction

  • ‘Stan’ was named after the amateur Paleontologist who first discovered him
  • He was first told the bones he found were from a relatively common Triceratops
  • But in 1992 he took them to Black Hills Institute in S.D. and was told otherwise
  • It is estimated that Stan died around 60 million years ago aged about 20 

The skeleton of a 40-foot (12-meter) dinosaur nicknamed ‘Stan’, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimens ever found, will be auctioned in New York next month and could set a record for a sale of its kind.

Discovered in 1987 near Buffalo, South Dakota, the 188-bone skeleton took more than three years to excavate and reconstruct by paleontologists from the state’s Black Hills Geological Research Institute, where it has been exhibited since.

Stan, who researchers estimate died around 60 million years ago aged about 20, has since been used to make replicas for dozens of museums eager to acquire their own T-rex model.

Stan, one of the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil discovered, is going up for auction at Christie’s in New York, and is expected to fetch between $6 and $8 million 

Only about 50 skeletons of one of the largest carnivores to roam Earth have been discovered since the first in 1902.

James Hyslop, of auctioneer Christie’s, said: ‘There aren’t very many very good complete skeletons in there. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a T-Rex as complete as this.’

The sale will be held in New York on October 6, with bids expected from $6 million to $8 million – putting it within reach of the $8.4 million paid for a T-rex named Sue in October 1997.

‘Any natural history museum would consider him the crown of their collection,’ Hyslop said.

The skeleton will be on display in a window at Christie’s headquarters in New York City from Wednesday until October 21. 

The T-rex is named after the amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison responsible for his initial discovery.

‘[Sacrison] showed it to scientists at the time who unfortunately misidentified it as a triceratops,’ Hyslop told Reuters news agency. 

Discovered in 1987 near Buffalo, South Dakota, the 188-bone skeleton took more than three years to excavate and reconstruct by paleontologists. The skeleton will be on display in a window at Christie’s headquarters in New York City from Wednesday until October 21

The T-rex is named after the amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison responsible for his initial discovery in 1987. Sacrison was first told he had discovered a relatively common Triceratops, but was later told that he had something far more interesting on his hands

Triceratops remains are relatively common in the paleontological world, so the bones failed to garner much interest until Sacrison took them to the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota in 1992.

Researchers there ‘realized pretty quickly that they had something special in their hands,’ said Hyslop. 

They recategorized Stan as a T-rex and mounted a new search to uncover the rest of the bones. They recovered 188 out of an estimated 300 total for any T-rex, Hyslop said. 

Stan is 40 feet long and 13 feet high, Christie’s said. He is also notable for two fused vertebrae scientists have identified in his neck, suggesting the dinosaur broke his neck and survived during his lifetime.

Researchers recategorized Stan as a T-rex and mounted a new search to uncover the rest of the bones. They recovered 188 out of an estimated 300 total

Stan is 40 feet long and 13 feet high, Christie’s said. He is also notable for two fused vertebrae scientists have identified in his neck, suggesting the dinosaur broke his neck and survived during his lifetime

‘The clue is in the name, the Tyrannosaurus rex,’ Hyslop said. ‘He is the tyrant lizard king.’ 

Its head is so heavy that a replica sits atop the skeleton, with the real one presented alongside.

‘We’ve got the skull displayed at ground level so that you can get really up close and personal with him and just see the serrations on his teeth,’ Hyslop said. ‘His longest tooth is 11 inches long. It’s just terrifying to behold.’

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