Near-complete T. rex skull up for auction
December 9, 2022 - “Maximus”, one of the best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skulls ever found and around 75% complete, is expected to fetch $15-20m at auction in New York.
The skull, which is 1.4 metres long and weighs more than 70 kilograms, was excavated in South Dakota from the famous Hell Creek Formation, a fossil-rich deposit known to contain a trove of unique specimens from the late Cretaceous period (145 million to 66 million years ago). Maximus is estimated to be about 67 million years old.
Maximus is not the first Hell Creek T. rex to hit the auction block. Sue and Stan, two other well preserved skeletons, fetched $8.36 million in 1997 and a record $31.8 million in 2020, respectively.
Auction houses’ increased interest in dinosaur bones has, however, sparked criticism from the scientific community. Some experts have expressed concern that such significant items should not be auctioned to private collectors, where they may not be available to the public or to scientists.
Sue is now a permanent feature at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Stan sold to a mystery buyer later found to be the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, where it is due to go on display in 2025.