The giant skeleton of one of the largest-ever prehistoric predators to rule the skies has sold at auction for a sky-high price of nearly $4 million. (Sotheby’s via SWNS)
The giant skeleton of one of the largest-ever prehistoric predators to rule the skies has sold at auction for more than $3.9 million (£3 million).
The well-preserved, 85-million-year-old remains of Horus the Pteranodon – which boasts an impressive 20-foot wingspan – were the highlight of a recent Natural History auction at Sotheby’s.
The sale also featured T-Rex, Megaladon and Saber-tooth tiger teeth which sold for up to $70,000 (£55,000) a piece as well as the skeleton of a Plesiosaur – a terrifying dragon-like reptile which once ruled the oceans and is valued at nearly $1 million (£784,000).
The long-necked creature, which roamed the oceans up to 190 million years ago, is also believed by many to have inspired the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
Both the Plesiosaur and the Pteranodon have featured throughout human history, from mythical folklore to Hollywood films such as “Jurassic Park” and “Godzilla.”
The Pteranodon ruled the skies during the late Cretaceous period of North America – between 66 and 145 million years ago – in the present-day states of Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota and Alabama.
The giant skeleton of one of the largest-ever prehistoric predators to rule the skies has sold at auction for a sky-high price of nearly $4m. (Sotheby’s via SWNS)
The location of its remains reveals that it died at sea, likely hunting for prey when it perished.
Those same prehistoric seas Horus soared over were ruled by sharks as big as buses and long-necked, lightning-quick sea dragons.
Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s Global Head of Science and Popular Culture, explained that both the Plesiosaur and the Pteranodon have played important roles in humanity’s imagination.
She said: “More than 25 years since the groundbreaking sale of Sue the T-Rex at Sotheby’s, we are very excited to now turn our attention to its predatory peers of the sky and the sea.
“‘Horus’ The Pteranodon and ‘Nessie’ the Plesiosaur spotlight a different side of Earth’s prehistory, showing the range of extraordinary creatures that once called this planet home.
“Both of these species have long played an important role in our collective imaginations, from inspiring ancient folklore and myths to appearing in Hollywood blockbusters and television shows.
“They are each instantly recognizable and are remarkable witnesses to the incredible evolutionary power that has shaped life on earth for eons.”
Sotheby’s auctioned the first-ever Gorgosaurus skeleton in July 2022 for $6.1 million (£4.785 million), and the first sale of a standalone Tyrannosaurus rex skull fetched the same price in December.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker