A TYRANNOSAURUS rex skeleton is expected to raise 4.8 million when it is auctioned next month. The 66 million year old dinosaur measures 15 feet tall by 40 feet long and is one of the largest ever discovered. The female skeleton, named Samson, is made up of 170 bones and is more than 50 per cent complete. Its head is undistorted and one of the most complete in existence. Samson was found in South Dakota, United States, in 1987 and excavated in 1992. Experts have mounted the skeleton ready for sale at the Venetian hotel, Las Vegas, on October 3. It had previously been stored in a crate. Thomas Lindgren, co-consulting Director of Natural History at auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields, hopes the skeleton will be bought by a museum. He said: We have had tremendous worldwide interest in Samson. Although we cannot predict who the successful buyer will be, it is our hope that a museum or institution will find the funding to purchase it. Telegraph I estimate it will sell for between 3.6 million and 4.8 million. Samson is one of the largest known Tyrannosaurus specimens ever discovered. It boasts an undistorted and virtually complete skull, which is considered to be one of the most complete in existence. It has been prepared and beautifully mounted on a custom armature and can be clearly identified as a dinosaur. Dinosaur expert Peter Larson, a Tyrannosaur palaeontologist, said the skeleton could be a new species of Tyrannosaurus. He said: Research on this particular Tyrannosaurus is still incomplete but experts believe it is one of four possible examples of a yet unnamed species of Tyrannosaurus. I look forward to seeing the entire assembled and fully prepared skeleton in Las Vegas. Tyrannosaurus rex is native to North America and is known as the Tyrant Lizard King. It is thought to have been a very skilled hunter with colour vision and an extremely sensitive sense of smell. In life, Samson measured approximately 40-feet long and could have looked into a second story window. During the Cretaceous Period - between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago - Tyrannosaurs occupied a position at the top of the food chain. Its massive skull and powerful serrated teeth could bite through the leg bone of any dinosaur living at that time. The reason for sale has not been disclosed. Telegraph