The skeleton of the largest triceratops known to date is on display in Paris before going up for auction next month. The bones of Big john, as this giant that lived 66 million years ago in the territory of what is now the United States is known, they can reach a price of between 1.2 and 15 million euros during the bid, according to calculations by the Parisian auction house Giquello, which ensures that it already has a dozen potential buyers at stake.
The 200 bones that make up the skeleton of Big john, plus its huge skull with two horns, were discovered in 2014 during an excavation in a plain known as Hell Creek, in South Dakota, in the United States, by geologist Walter W. Stein Bill, who moved them for cleaning and assembly to Trieste. In this Italian city it was restored by the Zoic house, specialized in this type of work, such as the one he did with the triceratops Cliff, which is exhibited in the Museum of Science in Boston, and another example that is in the National Museum of Science in Gwacheon, in South Korea.
This enormous Cretaceous animal lived and died on a mainland island called Laramidia, which extended into the territory that goes from present-day Alaska and Mexico, separated by an inland sea from the territory of Appalachia, another mainland island that occupied what is now the east coast of the United States. Despite their imposing skulls and the horns they sported, triceratops were gentle herbivores of about thirty feet and six tons.
Big john It is distinguished from its companions unearthed so far by the exceptional size of its skull: 2.62 meters long by 2 meters wide. The two horns of the animal are 1.1 meters long and more than 30 centimeters wide at their base. The classification of this group of dinosaurs was divided into two very different classes: the casmosaurines, with two large horns over the eyes and a smaller one on the snout (triceratops means three horns on the face), and the centrosaurines, with one large horn. on the snout and two very small ones on the eyes, which also became extinct before the casmosaurines.
But the skeleton of the great John is not complete. 40% of the bones of the body are missing, while the skull is only 75% complete, as recognized by the firm that puts it up for sale. Despite this, the auction has generated great expectation. The head of the auction house, Alexandre Giquello, has assured that there are a dozen potential buyers. In October last year an unusual skeleton of an allosaurus, one of the oldest known dinosaurs, was sold for more than 3 million euros. Big john await your price already up and displayed at Drouot Richelieu, where you will find out how much it costs on October 21.