If you have $25 million or so lying around, or you win the huge Powerball jackpot this weekend, you could be the lucky new owner of a T.rex skeleton. After taking in a whopping $31 million a couple of years ago, Christie’s auction house is selling another T. rex skeleton at its location in Hong Kong on November 30.
Named Shen, meaning “god-like,” the skeleton is one of 20 skeletons that have been discovered. According to reports, “The remains were found along the Hell Creek formation in Montana before being examined and prepared in Germany.”
“Shen is one of the best T.rex ever discovered; he considerably advances the science of paleontology and our knowledge of theropod behavior,” Dr. John R. Nudds, a professor at the University of Manchester, says of the skeleton on the listing website.
My Modern Met had some more details: “Shen is one of the best T.rex ever discovered; he considerably advances the science of paleontology and our knowledge of theropod behavior,” Dr. John R. Nudds, a professor at the University of Manchester, says of the skeleton on the listing website.
“From its surging, bloodthirsty stance, to its remarkable preservation, this is one of the most scientifically studied T. rex skeletons to come to auction,” shared James Hyslop, head of science & natural history at Christie’s. “After the unforgettable, record-breaking sale of Stan at Christie’s New York in 2020, it is a thrill and an immense privilege for us to be trusted with the sale of another wonderous [sic] T. rex skeleton.”
This apex predator is 16 feet tall and 43 feet long. Believed to be male, Shen dates from the Late Cretaceous period (about 67 million years ago). The specimen is incredibly rare as, according to experts, only one in 80 million T. rex dinosaurs were preserved as fossils.
Christie’s auction is particularly notable due to its location. Currently, most T. rex skeletons are located in Natural History Museums in North America and Europe. By holding the auction in Hong Kong, it’s more likely that Shen will end up in Asia. Though, of course, that’s not a given. Even though Stan was auctioned off in New York, it was recently revealed that he’ll take center stage at a new Natural History Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Christie’s writes, “In recent years, a huge amount of scientific research has been undertaken, much of it using new technological innovations, so we now have a very detailed picture of how T.rex lived, how it fed, how it moved, and what it looked like. For example, its bite force of 8,000 pounds was more than seven times that of the bone-crushing hyaena, and four times that of a large crocodile.
With a lifespan of 20-30 years, a massive growth spurt at sexual maturity during its teenage years gave it an adult body mass of 5,000-7,000 kilograms. Standing 4 meters tall at the hip, and more than 12 meters from head to tail, it was a gigantic predator in the Late Cretaceous period, living approximately 66,000,000 – 68,000,000 years ago. We can tell from its footprints that it did not drag its tail on the ground, but held it horizontally, with the body bent forwards and the tail acting as a counterbalance to its massively heavy head. The strong tail muscles were connected to the thighs to give added thrust when walking.”
Not sure if you’re ready to buy? You can still go check it out, well you want to fly to Hong Kong, that is.
Shen was displayed at the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall in Singapore . from October 28 to October 30 before being moved to Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre during the last week of November.