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Huge T-Rex dinosaur skeleton Stan sells for record-breaking £24.5m at auction

A T-Rex skeleton has sold for a record-breaking £24.5million at auction.

It is the most expensive dinosaur fossil ever to be sold after going under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York.

The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, named Stan after Stan Sacrison, the amateur palaeontologist who discovered it in South Dakota in 1987, is a whopping 40ft long and 13ft high.

The anonymous buyer spared no expense in getting their offer accepted over the phone after a tense 20 minutes of bidding.

The pre-estimate auction price was only £6million.

The structure is an astonishing 67 million years old and is made up of 188 bones and peaked scientists' interested after they spotted two fused vertebrae in the neck. This implies the dinosaur somehow survived a broken neck during its lifetime.

Its teeth are over 11 inches long. It is the fifth most complete T-rex fossil discovered to date with more than 70% of its bulk in tact – 199 bones in total.

It has been studied by experts at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, South Dakota, for the past 20 years.

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The last complete T-rex skeleton to be sold at auction was in 1992. It was brought by the Field Museum of Natural History for £6.45million and was nicknamed Sue.

While Christie's declined to reveal the name of the new owner, the firm's James Hyslop said some further details about the dinosaur's future could emerge in the next few days.

Dinosaur expert Professor Phil Manning, from the University of Manchester, said: "Stan rapidly became the 'Stan-dard' for T-rex, given there are so many casts of this extraordinary fossil that have been sold all over the world.

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"If you have looked at a T-rex in a museum, the chances are it was a cast of Stan.

"The skull is possibly the best preserved, given it was found as isolated elements, carefully prepped and beautifully reconstructed.

"I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this remarkable fossil stays in the public domain for all to enjoy."

The Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the most well-known species of dinosaurs. The huge carnivore lived in what is now western North America.

The first documented discovery of T-rex remains was in 1874 when where found by Arthur Lake in Golden, Colorado. DInosaurs roamed the Earth for 100 million years before they suddenly died out around 65.5 million years ago.

A number of theories have been put forward about what caused this, including a meteor strike, volcanic eruptions and gradual changes to the Earth's climate.

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