The skeleton of an entire Tyrannosaurus rex will go under the hammer in Switzerland next month with an expected price of more than GBP 7 million.
The skeleton – named TRX-293 Trinity – will be auctioned off at the renowned Koller auction house in Zurich, northern Switzerland, on 18th April.
Auctioneers have praised the giant raptor as the “undisputed star” of its ‘Out of This World’ auctions.
The skeleton is made out of bones from three T. rexes excavated between 2008 and 2013 in the USA.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash, Koller said: “For the first time in Europe and only the third time worldwide, a skeleton of an entire T. rex dinosaur of exceptional quality will be offered at auction.
“With an astonishing length of 11.6 metres (38 feet) and a towering height of 3.9 metres (12.8 feet), Trinity is one of the most spectacular T. rex skeletons in existence, a well-preserved and brilliantly restored fossil.”
Nils Knoetschke is a fossil preparator and scientific advisor of the Dinopark theme park in Muenchehagen, Lower Saxony, Germany.
Nils described his assignment to prepare Trinity for the sale as a “lifetime opportunity.”
He said: “Reflecting on it, I’m still getting goosebumps. The T. rex is the most iconic dinosaur. Trinity’s sheer presence in the room is magnificent.”
Dr Hans-Jakob Seier – who is the director of the Aathal Dinosaur Museum in Seegraeben near Zuerich – called the upcoming event “very special.”
He said: “I could never have imagined this to happen. T. rexes are incredibly rare.
“Around 20 to 30 have been discovered all over the world, but they are already distributed to different big museums.”
Dr Seier explained: “If more than 50 per cent of a dinosaur’s skeleton exists, a fossil is a significant find for any museum.
“That her skull originates from just one specimen, that is the most important aspect.”
Reflecting on the first time he observed Trinity, the researcher and expert on dinosaurs admitted: “I was impressed.”
Dr Seier added: “It would certainly be a stunning piece of attraction to any museum in the world.”
Asked to evaluate the chance the highest bidder might loan it to his museum, he said: “This would be a dream. We have big dreams, but as you know, sometimes dreams become true.”
Dr Dennis Hansen – curator at the Zoological Museum Zurich – said: “As a gateway drug into becoming a dinosaur nerd, a T. rex is hard to beat.”
The Tyrannosaurus rex species lived 90 to 66 million years ago at the very end of the Late Cretaceous.
It was one of the biggest meat eaters of the era.
While some studies suggest that the raptor was capable of running at 20 mph (32 kph), other scientists think that the species reached a top speed of just 10 mph (16 kph).
T. rex is estimated to have weighed between 11,000 and 15,500 pounds (5,000 and 7,000 kilogrammes), about the same as a male African elephant.
The Trinity T. rex is on public display at the Tonhalle venue in Zurich until 16th April.
Founded in 1958, Koller Auctions is one of the leading auction houses in Switzerland.