T-Rex skeleton sold to private buyer for almost £5m in auction

There are concerns that the private sale in Switzerland will see museums priced out of purchasing artefacts.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton has been sold to a private buyer at an auction in Switzerland for almost £5m.

It’s the first time a T-Rex has ever been sold in Europe and only the third to have been sold worldwide.

Named Trinity, as the skeleton is made from the remains of three separate specimens, it comes in at a massive 11.6 metres long, 3.9 metres tall and boasts a gigantic 1.4-metre-long skull.

The dinosaur is thought to be from the Late Cretaceous Period, when the animals went extinct, making it around 67 million years old.

It had been expected to reach a high price, with scientific consultant Nils Knötsche telling Köller Auction House, where the exhibit was sold, that its skull was its main selling point.

“This is something very fragile and very rare. […] In fact, most dinosaurs are found without their skulls. But here we have truly original Tyrannosaurus skull bones that all originate from the same specimen,” he said.

“To be honest, I was quite nervous when we mounted the skull here in Switzerland, since I was so much in awe of it.”

But Trinity’s remains ended up coming in at the lower end of the spectrum, with previous T-Rexes named Sue and Stan selling for $8.3m and $31.8m respectively.

With the dinosaur going into private hands, there is concern museums are being priced out of the artefacts.

Dr Thomas Carr from Carthage College in Wisconsin told The Times he thought it was a big loss to see it sold in this fashion.

“The auction of Trinity is just the tip of a very ugly and sprawling iceberg where everyone who is interested in the natural world loses, from schoolchildren to scientists.”

Just 32 T-Rex specimens have ever been found despite estimates of as many as 2.5 billion having existed according to scientific journal Nature.

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