His name is “Hector”, he is over 100 million years old, and his fossils was sold for more than $ 12 million at auction at Christie’s.
Hector is the most complete skeleton of Deinonychus antirrhopus ever found, according to Christie’s. The specimen, excavated in Montana in 2013, dates back to the Early Cretaceous: 115 to 108 million years ago. It is in a “remarkable state of preservation,” says the auction house of the specimen, consisting of 126 original fossils on a specially built frame.
Lots were expected to be between $ 4 million and $ 6 million, according to Christie’s.
Instead, it sold for an astonishing $ 12.4 million on Wednesday.
The 9-foot-long Deinonychus, which roamed western North America, got its name from its distinct and deadly claw on each foot, the auction house says. Deinonychus means “terrible claw” in ancient Greek.
“Shaped like a cutter and held up from the ground when not in use to maintain its lethal sharpness, this claw was used to remove its prey,” Christie’s said.
The deadly talon may be familiar to fans of the iconic movie series “Jurassic Park”, where dizzying velociraptors kill park guests and fight a Tyrannosaurus rex. But in reality, Velociraptor was a small turkey-sized dinosaur most found in Mongolia. Filmmakers raised their name, but took most of the attributes from the greater Deinonychus, according to Christie’s.
Hector, only the third complete skeleton of Deinonychus ever found, has been privately owned since his excavation. The other two complete Deinonychus skeletons are owned by museums: one is on display American Museum of Natural History.
Dinosaur fossils, especially for “celebrity species” such as those shown in “Jurassic Park”, have brought in impressive sums at auction in recent decades. 2020, a T.rex skeleton sold for a record $ 31.8 millionand 2021 the world’s largest Triceratops skeleton sold for $ 7.7 million.