T rex skull unearthed in South Dakota to be auctioned in NY

Nov 8, 2022, 6:16 AM | Updated: Nov 21, 2022, 1:10 pm
Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at So...

Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

NEW YORK (AP) — A Tyrannosaurus rex skull unearthed in South Dakota is expected to sell for $15 million or more at auction in New York next month, officials with Sotheby’s said Tuesday.

The 200-pound (91-kilogram) skull fossil, nicknamed Maximus, is being sold Dec. 9 by an owner who wishes to remain anonymous, the auction house said.

The skull was excavated in 2020 and 2021 in Harding County, South Dakota, where other T. rex skeletons like Sue and Stan were found, according to Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s head of science and popular culture. She called the area “the world capital for T. rexes.”

Most of the rest of this T. rex’s remains were destroyed over time by erosion, but Sotheby’s experts said the skull was a major find. Hatton noted, “When you think about it, more people can fit a skull in their home than people who could fit a full dinosaur.”

The 6 1/2-foot (2-meter) fossil is about 76 million years old and still has most of the external skull bones and numerous teeth, Sotheby’s experts said.

Hatton said two large puncture holes in the skull are evidence of a big fight, probably with another T. rex. “We don’t know that this is what caused the death of this animal, but we can tell that it did have a major battle during its lifetime,” she said.

Marks on the skull are interesting to study “because they give us an idea about what life was like during the Cretaceous period,” Hatton said.

This specimen may not be headed to a research institution, though. “It’s the ultimate trophy,” Hatton said. “To place in one’s home.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, points at two large puncture holes likely from a fight with another dinosaur, on a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              A Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, is on display at Sotheby's in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
            
              Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president, global head of department, Science & Popular Culture at Sotheby's, touches the tooth of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull excavated from Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020-2021, in New York City on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. When auctioned in December, the auction house expects the dinosaur skull to sell for $15 to $25 million. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

AP

FILE - A sign hangs outside the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, on May 4, 2021. Th...
Associated Press

IRS urges special refund recipients to delay filing taxes

NEW YORK (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is recommending that taxpayers hold off on filing their tax returns for 2022 if they received a special tax refund or payment from their state last year. Last year, 19 states offered diverse programs that offered inflation relief payments or refunds for taxpayers. The IRS issued the […]
17 hours ago
Darius Conner, prepares to make the first sale of vaporizer cartridges of cannabis in the "pop up" ...
Associated Press

As illegal pot dispensaries thrive, NYC goes after landlords

NEW YORK (AP) — In a renewed push to snuff out New York City’s thriving illegal cannabis market, Mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan’s top prosecutor announced Tuesday that they would go after landlords who allow hundreds of illicit shops to operate. During a news conference with the mayor, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his […]
17 hours ago
FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo, Melissa Boerst, a Lithium Nevada Corp. geologist, points...
Associated Press

US judge refuses to block Nevada lithium mine construction

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the government to revisit part of its environmental review of a lithium mine planned in Nevada but denied opponents’ effort to block the project in a ruling the developer says clears the way for construction at the largest known U.S. lithium deposit. The ruling late Monday […]
17 hours ago
Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz displays a bill he signed into law at the St. Paul Labor Center ...
Associated Press

Minn. governor trusts energy law will survive ND suit threat

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Gov Tim Walz signed a bill Tuesday that requires Minnesota utilities to get 100% of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040, saying he’s confident it will stand up against a threatened lawsuit from coal and gas producing North Dakota. Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum this week renewed […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Prosecution: Woman planned the killings of her 3 children

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman used exercise bands to strangle her three children in the family home in a well-planned assault while her husband was out for about 20 minutes picking up medicine at a pharmacy and takeout, a prosecutor said at her arraignment Tuesday. Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Tuesday 2/7/2023

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street after the head of the Federal Reserve signaled last week’s stunningly strong jobs report isn’t likely to change where interest rates are heading on its own, as some investors had feared. The S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the Dow rose. Comments from Fed chief Jerome Powell sent stocks from […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
T rex skull unearthed in South Dakota to be auctioned in NY