Trinity, the Tyrannosaurus rex to be auctioned in Switzerland

The first Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be auctioned in Europe

A skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, a species that lived 67 million years ago, will be auctioned on April 18 in Switzerland, a novelty in Europeas announced this Saturday by the Koller auction house.

Called “Trinity”, the complete specimen of almost 3.9 meters tall and 11.6 meters in length is estimated at between 6.5 and 8.65 million dollarsaccording to the Zurich-based Koller catalogue.

“This is a very low estimate,” warned Koller’s natural history expert Christian Link.

It will be “the third time in the world and the first time in Europe” that a Tirannosaurus rex skeleton is put up for saleaccording to the Koller house, which recalls that most specimens of this type are found in museums.

tyrannosaurus rex auction
Koller says the undisputed star of the April 18 auction is the TRX-293 TRINITY T-rex skeleton

More than half of the skeleton of “Trinity” was assembled using bones of three different T-rex specimens found between 2008 and 2013 in Montana and Wyoming in the northwestern United States, according to the catalog.

Last year, the Christie’s auction house tAnother T-rex skeleton, also from Montana, had to be withdrawn a few days after the sale in Hong Kong due to doubts raised by some parts of the skeleton.

Only 32 adult T-rex skeletons, among the largest predators to ever live on Earth, have been found in the world to date.according to a study published in 2021 by the scientific journal Nature.

A complete skeleton of Gorgosaurus, a species of dinosaur cousin to the T-rex that lived more than 77 million years ago, was sold in July by Sotheby’s in New York for $6.1 million.

CAPTION An illustration of a T. rex feeding CREDIT © Mark Witton 2022
An illustration of a T. rex feeding (© Mark Witton 2022)

the king of dinosaurs

In early 2022, a group of researchers made a provocative claim: Tyrannosaurus rex should be divided into three different species: the standard T. rex, the bulkier “T. imperator”, and the thinnest “T. regina.” This study, published in the journal Evolutionary Biologywas based on analysis of the leg bones and teeth of 38 T. rex specimens.

But in August of that year a group of paleontologists led by the Museum and Carthage College in Wisconsin published a refutation of that thesis of “multiple species”finding that the proposal does not have enough evidence to support it. “Tyrannosaurus rex is still the true king of the dinosaurs”said Steve Brusatte, co-author of the study who reviewed the original data and also added measurements from 112 species of birds, which are living dinosaurs, and from four non-avian theropod dinosaurs.

The authors of the rebuttal found that the multiple species argument was based on a limited comparative sample, incomparable measurements, and inadequate statistical techniques.

With information from AFP and EuropaPress

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