Condition Used: One Owner DinoThe fossilized skeleton of a T. Rex relative that roamed the earth about 76 million years ago was auctioned in at Sotheby’s in New York, for $6.1 million.

The Gorgosaurus skeleton was a highlight of Sotheby’s natural history auction on July 28, the auction house said.

The Gorgosaurus was an apex carnivore that lived in what is now the western United States and Canada during the late Cretaceous Period. It predated its relative the Tyrannosaurus Rex by 10 million years.

The nine-foot-tall, 22-foot-long skeleton was discovered in 2018 in the Judith River Formation near Havre, Montana, Sotheby’s said. The Judith River Formation is a fossil-rich area in Montana about 45 miles from the Canadian border. The auction house, which did not disclose the name of the seller or the buyer, had estimated it would sell for between $5 million and $8 million. The high bidder also won the right to name the dinosaur’s skeleton.

All of the other known Gorgosaurus skeletons are in museum collections, making this one the only specimen available for private ownership, the auction house said.

“In my career, I have had the privilege of handling and selling many exceptional and unique objects, but few have the capacity to inspire wonder and capture imaginations quite like this unbelievable Gorgosaurus skeleton,” Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s global head of science and popular culture, said.

Paleontologists were not so awe-struck. But they acknowledge that everything about the sale appears legal. In the United States, fossils found on private land can be sold for profit. If the Gorgosaurus had been found just north of the border, in Alberta, it would have belonged to the public, paleontologists said.