A rare ancient dinosaur skeleton has been sold in the US to an unknown buyer for just over $6m (£5m).
It was offered up by Sotheby’s and sold at the firm’s natural history auction in New York City on Thursday.
The fossil is that of a Gorgosaurus – a distant relative of the infamous and deadly Tyrannosaurus rex – that was discovered in 2018.
The anonymous buyer will have the unique opportunity to bestow a nickname on the one-time apex predator.
The sale is the second-ever of a fossilised dinosaur skeleton auctioned by Sotheby’s. The first, a T-rex nicknamed Sue, was sold to Chicago’s Field Museum in 1997 for $8.36m.
The Gorgosaurus roamed the Earth about 77 million years ago and, like the T-rex, it had a large head, a mouth full of curved serrated teeth, and small two-fingered front limbs.
Though smaller than its cousin dinosaur, it was faster, fiercer and packed a stronger bite, optimised for “cutting into thick skin and penetrating deep into the flesh of their prey”, according to Sotheby’s.
Photo – Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, walks past a full skeleton of a Gorgosaurus dinosaur on display at Sotheby’s auction house during the preview of the upcoming Natural History auction in New York, New York, USA, . The dinosaur fossil, which is almost 10 feet (3 meters) tall and is one of the only full skeletons to be offered for sale since 1997, will be auctioned on 28 July 2022 in New York.EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE