June 22, 2024

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'Big John', largest triceratops ever discovered, to go on display in Paris ahead of millionaire auction |  science and health

‘Big John’, largest triceratops ever discovered, to go on display in Paris ahead of millionaire auction | science and health

Anyone passing through the French capital between mid-September and October will have a chance to see “Big John,” the largest triceratops known to date, over 66 million years old. Auctioned October 21 at the Hôtel Dru in Paris.

The width of the skull alone is two meters. About 200 bones and large horns of “Big John” were assembled this Tuesday (31) behind the windows of a gallery, in the Marais district, central Paris, where the animal will be revealed between the days of September 16 and October 15 (13 rue des Archives).

Triceratops skeleton to be exhibited in Paris before it is auctioned. – Photo: Lewis Joly/AP

Estimated at between €1.2 and €1.5 million, the only specimen of this size – more than 60% complete (75% of the skull) – was discovered in 2014 in South Dakota, United States, by geologist Walter W. Stein Bell. Excavations have been recovered in Trieste, Italy.

A prehistoric animal, a type of four-legged herbivorous dinosaur, lived on Laramidia, an extinct island that stretched from present-day Alaska to Mexico. His death in the floodplain, probably after a fight as evidenced by a laceration near the skull, allowed the skeleton to be preserved in the mud, a sediment with no biological activity.

“For Triceratops, which has a global export license, we have about a dozen potential buyers,” explains auctioneer Alexandre Giquilo. “At the same time, we will be offering a bifocal bone, which is 150 million years old, and a mammoth skull, which is 100,000 years old,” adds the auctioneer.

Big John, the world’s largest known triceratops (Photo: Lewis Jolly/Associated Press

This sale comes as the craze for dinosaur skeletons continues to rise. Prices reached record levels, which alarmed museums and research centers, often unable to exceed bid values.

In October, a rare skeleton of Allosaurus, one of the oldest dinosaurs, considered the dreaded “grandfather” of the T-Rex, was sold at auction in Paris to an unknown buyer for just over €3 million (with fees), double the original amount. estimated value.

A few weeks ago, in New York, a 67 million-year-old T-Rex skeleton was sold for $31.8 million, a record for a dinosaur, when the estimate was between $6 million and $8 million.

However, by 2020, many of the dinosaurs on display in Paris could not find buyers as the prices of the reserves were not met.

The oldest predatory dinosaur fossil in the world was found in southern Brazil