According to Sotheby’s officials, a Tyrannosaurus rex skull discovered in South Dakota is expected to fetch $15 million or more at auction in New York next month.

The owner of the 91-kilogram (200 pound) fossilised skull known as Maximus, who desires to stay nameless, is selling it on December 9 at an auction house.

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According to Cassandra Hatton, the head of science and popular culture at Sotheby’s, the skull was discovered in Harding County, South Dakota, in 2020 and 2021, the same area where Sue and Stan’s and other T. rex skeletons were also discovered. The region was dubbed “the international capital for T. rexes” by the speaker.

The majority of the remaining T. rex remains were lost to erosion over time, but the head, according to Sotheby’s specialists, was a significant discovery. When you stop to think about it, more people could fit a skull in their home than an entire dinosaur, said Hatton.

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According to Sotheby’s specialists, the 6 1/2-foot (2-meter) fossil is roughly 76 million years old and still preserves the majority of the exterior skull bones and several teeth.

Hatton claimed that the skull’s two sizable puncture holes are proof of a significant struggle, likely with another T. rex. “We can tell that this animal did have a tremendous battle during its career, but we can’t say that this is what caused the animal’s death,” she said.

Because they provide insight into living during the Cretaceous period, the marks on the skull are fascinating to analyse, according to Hatton.

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Though it’s possible that this specimen won’t end up at a research facility. It’s the supreme award, to install in a residence,” Hatton stated. 

The skull, which still has most of its bones and teeth, has two large puncture holes that could indicate a fight.