Millions of years ago, Montana was home to a wide variety of dinosaur species.

Photo Credit: Sotheby's
Photo Credit: Sotheby's
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The first documentation of dinosaur remains found in North America was in 1854. The remains of a duck-billed dinosaur known as a Trachodonwere found near Judith Landing in the Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

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Montana has a long history of dinosaur discoveries. "Montana’s T. rex," one of the most complete T. rex fossils ever discovered, was found near Fort Peck Lake in 1997. Another T. rex fossil nicknamed the "Wankel T. rex" is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

Recently, two other dinosaur fossils discovered in Montana made headlines. One was auctioned by Sotheby's in New York. It was a complete fossil of a Gorgosauraus, a close relative to the T. rex estimated to date back to 76 million years ago. The fossil was found in the Judith River Formation in Montana in 2018. There are only 20 known samples of the Gorgosauraus in the world, and most of them are in museums.

Photo Credit: Sotheby's
Photo Credit: Sotheby's
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The Montana Gorgosaurus fossil was sold to a private owner on Thursday, July 28, and it's the first of its kind to be sold at auction. Unlike many fossils, the Gorgosaurus fossil wasn't given a nickname. The new owner will have the honor of naming it.

Prior to the auction, many experts predicted that the fossil would sell for between $5-$8 million. On Thursday morning, the fossil sold for $6,069,500. This selling price pales in comparison to what Stan, the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, sold for in 2020. That one went for $31.8 million, the highest price ever paid for a fossil at auction.

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