RARE AND INCREDIBLE FOSSIL HORSE SKULL
White River Badlands
Mesohippus (literally "middle horse") was a common early horse in North America which lived some 30 to 40 million years ago. It had longer legs that its predecessor Eohippus and had lost a toe becoming a three-toed horse (odd-toed ungulate). Its teeth were low crowned unlike earlier horses and contained a single gap behind the front teeth - where the bit now rests in the modern horse. It also had an extra grinding tooth for a total of six. This ancestral horse was a browser that fed on tender twigs and fruit. It had a larger cranial cavity and featured a brain that was similar to that of modern horses. This superlative specimen has phenomenally preserved teeth - often the only fossil remnants found of these ancient horses - as their bones were so thin they were not likely to be fossilized. Of particular note, the piece has a series of five articulated vertebrae protruding from the back of the skull which curve under the bottom jaw as to be expected. This self-collected fossil was literally the "find of a lifetime" for the owner as the well-preserved horse fossil is a holy grail for any serious Badlands fossil hunter. This fossil skull exhibits only minor restoration with a small patch at the tip of the snout. This piece is a museum-quality specimen that should appeal to any serious collector. Horse fossils of this quality from the Badlands are simply not prevalent. This skull is superb evaluated from any angle and is a prize to truly be treasured.
Measurements: 8 inches long, 3.25 inches wide, 4 inches high.
Condition: This is a very nice 60% original Mesohippus skull with all original premolars and molars. The reconstruction of the missing elements is very well done. Following is a listing of major bone elements.
left mandible with original premolars and molars
Right mandible premolars and molars original, some bone original
Left Maxilla teeth original with some bone
Right maxilla teeth original with some bone
Left and right orbits mostly original bone and matrix
Back of skull & brain case original bone
Nasal & snout are reconstructed.
Upper premaxilla and teeth are reconstructed
Front of both mandibles and teed are reconstructed
Mandible is broken and glued at the 1st premolar
Contact us for more photos.
8 L, 3.25 W, 4 H inches
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