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World's largest triceratops sells for $7.7 million in Paris

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A private collector paid 6.6 million euros ($7.7 million) for the world's largest triceratops skeleton, known as "Big John," at a Paris auction house on Thursday.

The massive skeleton, estimated to be over 66 million years old, was discovered in South Dakota in 2014. The triceratops is distinguished by their three horns on the head.

 Big John, named after the owner of the land where it was discovered, is the largest reported triceratops skeleton, according to Guinness World Records. The dinosaur died in an ancient flood plain on the island continent that stretches from Alaska to Mexico, allowing its skeleton to be preserved in the muck.

The skeleton measures 7.15 meters (23 feet) long and 2.7 meters (8 feet) tall at the hips. With two massive horns over 1.1 meters long, the skull accounts for more than one-third of the overall length (3.6 feet).

Before commission and other charges, the hammer price at the Drouot auction house was 5.5 million euros.

"It's a European record." "Alexandre Giquello, the auctioneer, stated. Big John's skeleton is more than 60% complete, and his head is more than 75% complete, making him one-of-a-kind.

"Big John's overall quality merited this price." "Paleontology expert Iacopo Briano stated. "It's for a triceratops and a herbivore." "This is an incredible record," he stated.

A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton sold for about $32 million at an auction in New York last year, making it the most expensive dinosaur ever sold.

Big John was sold to an unidentified private bidder in the United States.

According to Djuan Rivers, the buyer's representative, "it's being acquired by an American collector... very excited with the prospect of being able to bring a work like this to his use."

"The history and duration of this is astounding." So to be a part of conserving something of this kind... it's also something very special," Rivers added.