Dana Quarry, Washakie County, Wyoming, USA
For many years, nothing more epitomized the popular image of gigantic dinosaurs than the so-called "Brontosaurus". But what is a "Brontosaurus"? Since the start of the twentieth century, it has been considered a synonym of Apatosaurus, a species described from a juvenile, and the famous nineteenth-century Brontosaurus skeleton on display at Yale's Peabody Museum determined to be a full-grown version. What is more, in 1970 it was demonstrated that the specimen did not even bear an Apatosaurus skull, but instead had been mismatched with that of a Camarasaurus. So popular was the spurious species, however, that in 1989 the US Post Office was still intent on publishing a "Brontosaurus" stamp in its dinosaur series (they also wanted to include a Pteranodon, a flying reptile, not a dinosaur!). Despite its iconic image, Apatosaurus is an uncommon species of Morrison sauropod. They are estimated to have grown up to 32 tons and it was originally conjectured that they were swamp dwellers, their relatively short legs unable to support the massive weight. More recently, footprints have indicated that they grazed in herds on dry land and that juveniles were even able to run on their hind legs in a fashion similar to the modern basilisk lizard. This hefty bone is the tibia, from the lower leg, and belonged to an adult individual which may have reached up to 75 feet in length. It was discovered in the important Dana Quarry in Washakie County, Wyoming, and displays the characteristically beautiful patination and bone texture. The edges along the top and bottom ends are worn and a surface section has been exfoliated due to erosion, but this interesting specimen is a two-in-one: in addition to being a fossil dinosaur bone, it also displays trace fossils in the form of boring holes of insect larvae. Furthermore, it also holds the distinction of being one of the few specimens recovered from the Dana Quarry that was transported and deposited by rapidly moving water after being attacked by carnivorous insects. An impressive relic of the once mighty "thunder lizard", it measures 41¼ inches in length.
Estimate: $3,500 - $4,000.
Condition report available upon request.
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