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Your Very Own T. Rex: Big Spender

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- If you have an extra $6 million in the bank and a very high ceiling in your home, here's something to surpass the Joneses: a dinosaur.

Standing at 40-feet tall, a 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was the centerpiece of an auction held this month at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Despite auction house Bonhams & Butterfields' hopes that the prehistoric marvel would net several million dollars, the lesson was that dinosaurs aren't recession-proof.

This 40-foot, 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex is looking for a home to call its own.

Promotional materials boasted of the uniqueness of the skeleton. It was billed as the third-most complete T. rex ever found, with the most pristine skull. Its 170 fossilized bones, comprising more than 55% of the total, belonged to a creature believed to have weighed nearly eight tons.

Excavated from a private ranch near Buffalo, S.D., over 15 years ago, Samson, which is actually a "she," has been well-traveled, with visits to NASA for CAT scans of its skull, the Carnegie Museum for the preparation of the skull and eventually to a New Jersey laboratory where the remains were mounted.

"Her massive skull and powerful serrated teeth could have bitten through the leg bone of any contemporary dinosaur," the Bonhams & Butterfields' description reads. "Most likely a very skilled hunter with binocular color vision and an extremely sensitive sense of smell, this colossus, like other adults of her species, lived as an apex predator of the Late Cretaceous period."

Samson, the auctioneer says, was equal in weight to "Sue," a T. rex skeleton currently displayed at the Field Museum in Chicago. That find, sold for $8.3 million in 1997, holds the record for most complete T. rex skeleton with 200 preserved bones.
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