World’s largest triceratops skeleton sells for $7.7M at auction

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The world’s largest triceratops skeleton sold at auction for $7.7 million (6.6 million euros) on Thursday. 

The skeleton, known as "Big John," was expected to fetch between  $1.4 million (1.2 million euros) and $1.7 million (1.5 million euros), FOX Business previously reported.

The dinosaur skeleton was sold to a private U.S. buyer at the Drouot auction house in Paris. According to the Associated Press, the buyer requested to remain anonymous. 

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Djuan Rivers, a representative for the buyer, told AP that the buyer is "absolutely thrilled with the idea of being able to bring a piece like this to his personal use."

Auction officer Violette Stcherbatcheff gestures next to the world’s biggest triceratops skeleton, known as “Big John,” during its auction Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) (AP Newsroom)

"The history behind this and the duration of it is absolutely impressive. So to be able to be a part of preserving something of this nature… it’s also something extremely special," Rivers added.

WORLD’S LARGEST TRICERATOPS SKELETON GOING UP FOR AUCTION COULD FETCH MORE THAN $1.4M

Big John is estimated to be more than 66 million years old and was found in 2014 in South Dakota. The skeleton is named after the owner of the land where it was found and is certified as the largest documented triceratops skeleton by the Guinness World Records, AP reported.

Big John is 23 feet long and stands 8 feet high at the hips, according to AP. Its skull is more than one-third of its total length at 3.6 feet. 

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AP reported that the skeleton is unique because it is more than 60% complete and its skull is more than 75% complete. 

"The overall quality of Big John really deserved this price," Iacopo Briano, a paleontology expert, told AP. "For a triceratops and for an herbivore. This is [an] unbelievable record."

Last year, a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton reached almost $32 million in an auction in New York, becoming the most expensive dinosaur ever sold.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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