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Rare T. Rex Skull Discovered in South Dakota Is Expected to Fetch Staggering Amount at Auction

A fossilized T. rex sold for $31.85 million in 2020 — breaking records at the time.


An extraordinary standalone Tyrannosaurus rex skull is about to hit the market.

Angela Weiss | Getty Images

Sotheby's will put the "first of its kind" fossil up for live auction on December 9, according to a release from the New York-based broker, and it's expected to fetch $15-$20 million.

Related: Turns Out There Were Once Billions of T. Rexes, and They Hunted Their Prey in Terrifying Packs

Discovered and excavated in Harding County, South Dakota at a "severely weathered" dig site where most of the rest of the skeleton was destroyed over time, the skull is one of the best and most complete ever found, per Sotheby's.

Fewer than a dozen fossils of comparable status exist in museums, and Maximus, as it's known, is on track to become one of the most valuable fossils ever sold at auction.

In 2020, Christie's auctioned off a fossilized T. rex known as Stan (named for the paleontologist who found him) for $31.85 million — making it the most expensive dinosaur skeleton sold to date, per CNBC.

Related: The Dino Cowboy Who Traded in Herding Cattle for Hunting T. Rex

Sotheby's will provide Maximus's buyer with full documentation certifying the condition, authenticity and legality of ownership at the time of sale.

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