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    Description

    A Spectacular Fossil Juvenile Pig Skull
    Archaeotherium mortoni, Early Oligocene, Brule Formation, White River Badlands, South Dakota, USA
    15 x 9 x 7-7/8 inches (38.1 x 22.9 x 20.3 cm)

    This fossil skull of Archaeotherium mortoni belonged to a group known as entelodonts, peculiar distant relatives of modern-day pigs. Sometimes nicknamed "hell pigs," or even "terminator pigs," these beasts, although omnivorous, were considered the "apex" predators of North America during the early Miocene and Oligocene Epochs, existing over a duration of around 21 million years. This spectacular specimen is unique for any number of reasons. Being a juvenile, it is a much more rare find than the other fossil pigs out of the Badlands. This juvenile pig did not exhibit the tough and thick build of an adult, but it has an impressive set of teeth, and great dentition sets it apart from others. This "ancient beast" is an extinct member of Artiodactyla. It probably resembled a large, fanged peccary the size of a modern cow, with bumps projecting from the side of its head, and it had high shoulders, presumably to carry strong neck muscles in support of a heavy head. The creature had a "tiny" brain but well developed olfactory lobes indicating a keen sense of smell. It, obviously, is superficially pig-like, but it probably behaved more like modern carnivores. Although Archaeotherium only existed for about 6 million years, it definitely made a mark on the ancient landscape of South Dakota. This self-collected specimen can be considered a "once in a lifetime" find for any fossil hunter. This skull has minimal restoration around the periphery and has a sizable visible patch of restoration at the end of the snout on the upper jaw, including some of the teeth.
    Provenance: A Private Texas Collection; Self-collected


    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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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