T-Rex Skeleton Sells For Record-Breaking $31.8 Million

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 08 Oct 2020 12:32
T-Rex Skeleton Sells For Record-Breaking $31.8 MillionChristie's/Wikimedia

A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton has been sold at auction for $31.8 million, earning it the title of the world’s most expensive dinosaur.

The fossilised remains, which have been given the name Stan, were sold at the 20th Century Evening Sale at Christies in New York, on Tuesday, October 6.


At this stage, the mystery buyer remains anonymous, and their purchase has been described as a ‘once-in-a-generation chance.’

T-Rex Skeleton Sells For Record-Breaking $31.8 MillionChristie's

James Hyslop, head of Christie’s science and natural history department, said:

There simply aren’t T. rexes like this coming to market. It’s an incredibly rare event when a great one is found.


Stan’s impressive price tag completely dwarfed the previous most expensive dinosaur, a T. rex named Sue, who had been purchased for $8.4 million in 1997. The Field Museum in Chicago made the purchase, and Sue held the title for more than two decades.

Initially, Stan was expected to sell at around the same price. However, a bidding war saw the price rocket up to $27.5 million, before commission and fees brought it up to $31.8 million.

Stan’s remains are the most complete T. rex fossils in the world, and measure in at 40-feet in length and 13 feet tall. He has 188 bones intact, which represents 70% of the full skeleton.

T-Rex Skeleton Sells For Record-Breaking $31.8 MillionPixabay

The remains were found by amateur palaeontologist Stan Sacrison, at Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota in 1987.

Casts of Stan’s skeleton have been made are now being and shown in museums all around the world, and you can even see puncture wounds that suggest he fought with other T. rexes.

Phil Manning, a palaeontologist at University of Manchester, told BBC News:

Stan rapidly became the ‘Stan-dard’ for T. rex, given there are so many casts of this extraordinary fossil that have been sold all over the world.

If you have looked at a T. rex in a museum, the chances are it was a cast of Stan. The skull is possibly the best preserved, given it was found as isolated elements, carefully prepped and beautifully reconstructed.

T-Rex Skeleton Sells For Record-Breaking $31.8 MillionPixabay

Stan the T. rex was estimated to be around 20 years old at the time of his death, which is relatively young given that the average age for a Tyrannosaurus rex was around 28 years.

Of course, the lucky purchaser of the record-breaking dinosaur is completely anonymous, so at this stage no one knows where the bones will be placed.

Manning added:


I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this remarkable fossil stays in the public domain for all to enjoy.

Stan was previously on display at South Dakota’s Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, the new owner has reportedly been denied permission to make casts or 3D prints of the skeleton, or to sell Stan-related merchandise online.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Animals, dinosaurs, fossils, Now, T-Rex


  1. BBC

    T. rex dinosaur 'Stan' sold for world record price