According to the auction house Koller, the rare dinosaur skeleton auctioned in Zurich will remain in Europe. The previously anonymous buyer of the T. rex called "TRX-293 Trinity" paid 5.5 million francs (around 5.6 million euros) for it yesterday in Zurich.
He got a bargain: the sale price for the life-size, million-year-old bones was at the lower end of the estimate (five to eight million Swiss francs). The price includes the commission for the auction house.
The seller was a private owner who wished to remain anonymous. In the United States such finds belong to the owner or lessee of the land on which they are discovered.
"Trinity" is 11.6 by 3.9 meters tall
The auction house doesn't think the skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex will disappear into private rooms. "We are optimistic that the private buyer will show it to the public in the near future," said the auction house's owner, Cyril Koller, in Zurich. Before the auction, 35,000 visitors viewed the skeleton in a sold-out exhibition in Zurich.
The skeleton "Trinity" is 11.6 by 3.9 meters tall. Only the head was on display at the auction, measuring 1.40 by 1.20 meters and weighing 100 kilograms. In total, the bones are packed in nine boxes. The auction price included mounting the bones on the life-size frame. "If someone is passionate about dinosaurs, they will also want this skeleton to be seen by as many people as possible," said Koller spokesman Karl Green. "I doubt it will stay in the boxes in the future."
Bones from three different animals
The previous owner named the skeleton Trinity because it was assembled from bones from three different animals. They were discovered in the US states of Montana and Wyoming between 2008 and 2013. Only around 50 percent of the bones are original material. According to the auction house, this is a good quota. The T. rex lived more than 65 million years ago in what is now the United States.
It is said to be only the third T. rex skeleton ever to be auctioned. In 2020, the Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi bought the T. rex skeleton "Stan" for $31 million. The special thing about it was that it has 70 percent original bones and the entire skeleton comes from the same animal. It is to be exhibited in a museum in Abu Dhabi in a few years.
T. rex are the best known dinosaurs. They gained fame because they were long considered the largest predators to ever walk the earth. The remains of even larger dinosaurs have since been found, but this did not detract from the reputation of the T. rex.