T. rex for sale: Dinosaur fossil on block in Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Museums and high-rolling natural history buffs will get a crack at buying a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex next month at a Las Vegas Strip auction.

Experts say the 170 bones discovered about 17 years ago in South Dakota represent more than half the skeleton of a 40-foot-long, 7.5 ton dinosaur that lived 66 million years ago.

Auctioneer Bonhams & Butterfields is hoping that bids for the T. rex dubbed "Samson" will top $6 million when it is sold Oct. 3 at the Venetian hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

A similar T. rex fossil sold in 1997 for $8.3 million and is now housed at the Field Museum in Chicago. That dinosaur, named "Sue," is 42 feet long and has more than 200 fossilized bones.

Tom Lindgren, a natural history specialist for Bonhams & Butterfields, said "Samson" is the third most complete T. rex skeleton ever discovered, and one of only 42 specimens discovered in the last 100 years with more than 10 percent of the bones.

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