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    Description

    SUPERB DINOSAUR FOOT
    Gallimimus bullatus
    Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage
    Nemegt Formation, Central Asia

    First discovered in 1970 and described in 1972, complete skeletons of the Gallimimus are so rare that almost everything known about the species comes from a tiny number of very lucky finds. The name means "fowl mimic" and its bones were hollow like those of modern birds, with numerous adaptations in the legs and hips clearly designed for running at high speed. It belongs to the dinosaur family Ornithomimidae, or "bird-mimic" dinosaurs, a group known from specimens in Central Asia, Russia and North America and which lived in the Late Cretaceous. At nearly 1000 pounds, 6-7 feet tall and 14 feet long, Gallimimus was one of the largest known ornithomimids and its toothless beak seems to have been adapted for catching small mammals and lizards, much like modern birds.

    This Gallimimus foot is remarkably complete and accurately reassembled. All of the claws and phalanges (toe digits) are original and only a single toe bone has any repair at all. Even the bizarre third metatarsal is preserved, which oddly tapers to an almost paper-thin strip, then re-expands to a wedge-like bone that fits snugly between the two more conventional and longer metatarsals. This incredibly fragile bone is almost never found intact, yet on this specimen as much as 98% of it is preserved, which can be clearly seen from the back side. It is suspected that this strange configuration allowed for greater running speed by reducing weight whilst adding strength to the foot. Overall the specimen has less than 4% restoration and is one of the most fully complete of its kind. It measures 19¼ inches from the top, around the curve, and down to the wicked-looking claw on the central toe. It is mounted on a discrete metal armature designed to allow easy removal of the specimen for study or display and raised on a hand-finished American oak base, it stands 19½ inches high overall.


    Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000.

    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
    May, 2009
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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