Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


Stylemys nebrascensis
White River Badlands
South Dakota

Both Turtles and Tortoises belong to an order of reptiles called Testudines with the primary difference being that Turtles are aquatic (water dwelling), whereas Tortoises are terrestrial (land dwelling). Both have bodies that are protected by shells featuring an upper part called the Carapace and a lower part called the Plastron. This spectacular specimen belongs to the genus Stylemys (which literally means "pillar turtle") and is actually a giant dry land Tortoise from the renowned Badlands region of the United States. It was first described by the famous paleontologist Dr. Joseph Leidy in 1851. Unlike their Turtle counterparts, Tortoises have heavier shells which often feature a dome shape. They have primitive jaw muscles indicating an herbivorous diet. Unlike contemporary Tortoises, Stylemys was characterized by forelimbs not suitable for burrowing which distinguished it from modern genera. This wonderful fossil is from the renowned White River Badlands which is known to have produced an abundance of spectacular Oligocene fossils. The entire Badlands region was formed as the result of the two geological processes of deposition and erosion. This huge specimen measures an incredible 23 inches (58.42 cm) long, 17 inches (43.18 cm) wide and 8 inches (20.32 cm) from bottom to the top of its dome. It weighs approximately 120 pounds (54.5 kilograms). The amazing size of this specimen puts it in the top 5% of all Turtles found there. The specimen was expertly re-assembled and restored, and it features approximately 85-90% of the original fossil material with limited restoration. This Tortoise was clearly a male as evidenced by the concavity of the Plastron. As an added bonus, the color is much more of a vibrant white than is typical of such fossils.

[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]

Condition Report*:

Condition report available upon request.

*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

Service and Handling Description: Requires 3rd Party Shipping (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
June, 2013
2nd Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 2
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 945

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Consign to the 2016 April 22 Illustration Art Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

Learn about consigning with us

As a first time consignor, I was very pleased with my experience with Heritage from the first call to cashing the check!
X.C. ,
Palo Alto, CA
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 October 14 Illustration Art Signature Auction - New York
2015 October 14 Illustration Art Signature Auction - New York
REALIZED $1,907,464

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved