Skeleton of giant T rex ancestor sells for $6.1m

The fossilized skeleton of a T rex relative called the Gorgosaurus that roamed the earth 10 million years before its descendent has sold for $6.1million (£5.01m) at auction.

The giant carnivore, which stalked prey in what is now the western United States and Canada 76 million years ago, went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday.

The specimen being sold was discovered in 2018 in the Judith River Formation near Havre, Montana, Sotheby’s said.

It measures nearly 10ft tall and 22ft long.

All other known Gorgosaurus skeletons are in museum collections, making this the only specimen available for private ownership, according to the auction house.

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Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, said ahead of the auction: “In my career, I have had the privilege of handling and selling many exceptional and unique objects, but few have the capacity to inspire wonder and capture imaginations quite like this unbelievable Gorgosaurus skeleton.”

Sotheby’s presale estimate for the fossil was between $5m and $8m (£4.1m and £6.6m).

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