A Tyrannosaurus skeleton is going up for auction in what is probably the coolest auction in the last 65 million years. Up for auction is a Tyrannosaurus Bataar, a smaller cousin to the legendary Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to the official posting, the skeleton is 75% complete and the skull is 80% complete and measures 24 feet in length and standing 8 feet high. It was excavated from the Gobi Desert in China.
Bidding will start on Sunday May 20th, 2012 with a starting minimum bud of $850,000 but they are currently accepting online bids. So if you were planning on putting it in your foyer you might want to think again! If you can make it to the auction in person, it is at Center 548, 548 W. 22nd St., New York, NY 10011.
Here is the official description from the Auction site Heritage Auctions:
“The classification of the Tyrannosauridae family is somewhat convoluted, but even the least scientifically-inclined observer can see at once that the similarity between the fearsome Tarbosaurus (meaning “alarming lizard”) and the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. T.bataar currently belongs in fact to its own tribe, Tarbosaurinae, within the Tyrannosaurinae subfamily, but many scientists support a reversion to its initial classification (in 1955) as Tyrannosaurus bataar. On the other hand, a 2003 paper proposed that the nearest relative of the Tarbosaurus was in fact another late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurid, the Alioramus; if true, this would suggest that two distinct Tyrannosaurine families evolved separately in both North America and Central Asia, over 70 million years ago. The T. bataar was marginally smaller than the T. rex, at 30-40 feet in length, but equipped with the same powerful jaws, monstrous teeth, powerful hind legs, and voracious appetite for prey. Like the T. rex, it also had remarkably short forelimbs, the shortest in relation to body-size of all dinosaurs. It ruled the food chain of the ancient floodplains that are today’s Gobi Desert, thinking nothing of taking down the giant Titanosaurs with which it shared the ecosystem. There is evidence also that the T. bataar was not above scavenging, bite-marks on a hadrosaur Saurolophus discovered in 1995 suggesting that the carnivorous dinosaur carefully stripped muscle and flesh from a half-buried carcass. This is an incredible, complete skeleton, painstakingly excavated and prepared, and mounted in a dramatic, forward-leaning running pose. The quality of preservation is superb, with wonderful bone texture and delightfully mottled grayish bone color. In striking contrast are those deadly teeth, long and frightfully robust, in a warm woody brown color, the fearsome, bristling mouth and monstrous jaws leaving one in no doubt as to how the creature came to rule its food chain. Equally deadly and impressive are the large curving claws, with pronounced blood grooves. The body is 75% complete and the skull 80%, and it is mounted on a discreet gray-painted armature. Measuring 24 feet in length and standing 8 feet high, it is a stupendous, museum-quality specimen of one of the most emblematic dinosaurs ever to have stalked this Earth. Bone map and restoration details available upon request. Estimate: $950,000 – $1,500,000.”