Velociraptor Skeleton For Sale At Christie’s NYC – NBC New York

You’ve probably seen the Jurassic movies. And if not, you’ve heard of it.

The most complete skeleton of the inspiration for Jurassic Park’s iconic “Velociraptor” is up for sale at Christie’s New York, the legendary auction house announced Friday. But first you get the chance to see it in person.

The piece is called “The Raptor” and will debut as part of Christie’s New York Spring Marquee Week of sales. Excavated in Wolf Canyon in Montana, it has been privately owned ever since. The Raptor has only been exhibited once – in Copenhagen at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, from June 2020 to December 2021.

The Raptor is a Deinonychus, a sophisticated carnivorous species discovered in the 1960s that can walk on two legs. The term was coined in 1969 by paleontologist John Ostrom and means “terrible claw,” referring to the deadly sickle claw present on each foot.

With a handful of registered specimens found and only two skeletons in museum collections, The Raptor sold by Christie’s is the most complete Deinonychus skeleton known to exist and the only privately owned specimen.

Yes, the Tyrannosaurus rex was a Deinonychus, but the Raptor came much earlier — 50 million years before the Rex that would become the stuff of “Jurassic Park” — and ruled the dinosaur kingdom. A smaller, more agile pack-hunting predator (as you know from the movies), than the Rex, the bird of prey was the most feared — and smartest — animal of its time, according to Christie’s.

Birds of prey kept that “terrible claw” off the ground when not in use to maintain its sharpness and could pierce its prey with one powerful kick once in its long arms. Unlike most dinosaurs, the raptor’s method of attack was aided by its ability to use its arms and extend its hand up to 9 inches long while standing on its hind legs. This aggressive, upright stance was facilitated by a long tail that provided balance; it would otherwise be stretched horizontally when running and contributed to the bird of prey’s exceptional length of about 10 feet or 3 meters in length.

The Raptor will be on display at Christie’s New York from Saturday, April 30 through Wednesday, May 11, and will go on sale the night of Thursday, May 12.

Leave a Comment