His name is “Hector,” he is over 100 million years old, and his fossils have sold for over $12 million at auction at Christie’s.
Hector is the most complete skeleton of Deinonychus antirrhopus ever found, according to Christie’s. The specimen, excavated in Montana in 2013, dates back to the early Cretaceous period: 115 to 108 million years ago. It is in a “remarkable state of preservation,” the auction house says of the specimen, consisting of 126 original fossils in a custom frame.
The lot was expected to bring in between $4 million and $6 million, according to Christie’s.
Instead, it sold for a staggering $12.4 million on Wednesday.
The 9-foot-long Deinonychus, which roamed western North America, was named for its distinctive, deadly claw on each foot, the auction house says. Deinonychus means “terrible claw” in ancient Greek.
“Sickle-shaped and raised off the ground when not in use to maintain its lethal sharpness, this claw was used to disembowel its prey,” Christie’s said.
The lethal claw might be familiar to fans of the iconic “Jurassic Park” film series, in which conniving velociraptors kill park guests and battle a tyrannosaurus rex. However, in reality, Velociraptor was a small, turkey-sized dinosaur found primarily in Mongolia. The filmmakers raised their name but picked up most of the attributes of the larger Deinonychus, according to Christie’s.
Hector, only the third complete Deinonychus skeleton ever found, has been privately owned since its excavation. The other two complete Deinonychus skeletons are owned by museums: one is on display at the American Museum of Natural History.
Dinosaur fossils, particularly for “celebrity” species like those featured in “Jurassic Park,” have raked in impressive sums at auctions over the past few decades. In 2020, a T.rex skeleton sold for a record $31.8 million, and in 2021, the world’s largest Triceratops skeleton sold for $7.7 million.
Source: CNN Brasil