MYSTERY WIRE — Big John the Triceratops skeleton is set to be auctioned at the Drouot auction house in Paris at the end of October. Discovered in 2015 in South Dakota, it is estimated to be more than 66 millions years old and is the largest Triceratops discovered to this date.


Big John is the largest Triceratops ever found, estimated to be more than 66 million years old.

Arriving in Paris, the 200 piece skeleton is being assembled today before going up for auction on October 21.

“This is ‘Big John’, a complete Triceratops specimen and it’s the biggest Triceratops in the world. It was scientifically measured and proved that it was the biggest ever found in the world. It was discovered in 2015 in the United States, in South Dakota, by a company specialised in researching prehistoric fossils,” says Iacopo Briano, a fossil sales expert.

The Triceratops has already caught the attention of passing Parisians.

“The Triceratops is one of the most well-known dinosaurs in the world. Everyone knows the three horns of the triceratops, the power of this animal from the dinosaurs’ golden age. On the top of being the biggest specimen in size it is also very well preserved, up to 60 percent of the skeleton which is incredible. Usually, we just find the skull of the Triceratops in collections,” says Briano.

Briano explains if you look at the collar of the dinosaur skeleton, evidence of an injury can be seen.

“On his collar we have found a trace of an injury, studied by the University of Chieti at the Paleopathology department that concluded that the hole was due to a fight. Another Triceratops has impaled ‘Big John’ with his horn leaving him this injury that was thoroughly studied,” he explains.

With the skeleton mounted on a frame, it fills the room.

Auctioneer at Drouot auction house, Alexandre Giquello, explains there’s already a great deal of interest in the piece.

“Usually buyers manifest a bit later, shortly before the auction, but here we have already noted a lot of interest,” he says.

“We have estimated the final price at 1.2-1.5 million (Euros) but we hope to have totally passionate buyers that will soar the final price, that’s our job.”

Big John will be on display to the public from September 16 before going under the hammer on October 21.