Found in Montana, USA, the Raptor was said to be the most agile, and one of the most lethal, category of dinosaurs
May 3, 2022: Bringing the Velociraptor back to our existence, auction house Christie’s is introducing ‘The Raptor’ in the market. To be auctioned as part of the New York Spring Marquee Week of sales on May 12, 2022, the iconic raptor (Deinonychus) stands dynamically poised at nearly 10 feet long, containing 126 fossil bones in an incredible state of preservation from approximately 115 – 108 million years ago. As one of the most famous and rarest dinosaurs—and the most complete skeleton of his species ever found—The Raptor is estimated at $4 million - 6 million.
The Raptor was excavated from Wolf Canyon, in Montana, Wyoming and has since been in private hands. It has been exhibited only once in Copenhagen at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. With a handful of recorded specimens found and only two skeletons in museum collections, The Raptor is the single most complete Deinonychus known to exist, and the only privately owned specimen.
James Hyslop, Christie’s Head of Department, Books, Travel & Science, remarks, “We’re elated to welcome The Raptor to Christie’s…and to spotlight this scientific marvel in our New York City galleries…The Raptor’s presence is truly captivating and ultimately a reminder that this iconic predator remains truly thrilling to a worldwide audience and an everlasting moment of the zeitgeist.”
Fifty million years before the reign of the dinosaurs ended in the age of Tyrannosaurus rex, a smaller, more agile, pack-hunting predator was the most feared—and smartest—animal of its time. Known for its swift gait, lethal sickle claws and potent kick housed in an elegant, compact frame, Deinonychus was an incredibly sophisticated dinosaur species of theropods (carnivorous animals that can walk on two legs). This species, in fact, inspired Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’.
In 1969, palaeontologist John Ostrom coined the name Deinonychus which translates aptly to “terrible claw,” to reference the lethal sickle claw present on each foot. With the claw held off the ground when not in use to maintain its sharpness, the raptor would stand on one leg, holding the target in its long arms, and pierce its prey with a mighty kick.
Unlike most dinosaurs, the raptor’s method of attack was aided by the ability to use its arms and stretch its hand up to nine inches in length while standing on its hind legs when attacking others in its path. This aggressive, upright stance was facilitated by a long tail that provided balance; it would otherwise be stretched horizontally when running and contributed to the raptor’s exceptional length measuring approximately 10 feet or 3 meters long.
The Raptor is on view at Christie’s New York until May 11, 2022.