One of the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons devoured auction estimates when it sold for $31.8 million at a Christie's auction this week, setting a new world record for any dinosaur skeleton or fossil ever sold at auction.
STAN the T-Rex skeleton, named after the amateur paleontologist who first discovered his bones while digging through Montana's Hell Creek Formation in 1987, had been displayed at the auction house's flagship location in New York with an initial estimate of $6 million-$8 million.
The skeleton was part of Christie's 20th Century Evening Sale, which auctioned 59 works spanning 20th and 21st centuries, including a painting by American artist Cy Twombly that went for nearly $38.7 million, reports CNN.
The 67-million-year-old dinosaur specimen had been studied at the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota, spawning dozens of research papers and studies over the past two decades.
"We are honored to be bringing STAN to auction and to have been entrusted with the stewardship of such an iconic and important T. rex," said James Hyslop, head of scientific instruments, globes and natural history at Christie's before the sale.
Christie's reports that Stan would towered at 13 feet high, 40 feet long, and weighed in at around eight tons—twice as heavy as an elephant.
His longest teeth were 11 inches in length, which no doubt helped him devour the partially Triceratops remains found nearby his discovery site. There's also evidence of puncture wounds in his skull that were caused by another predator.