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    Description

    AN EXCEPTIONAL DINOSAUR SKULL
    Triceratops horridus
    Cretaceous
    Hell Creek Formation, Wibeaux County, Montana USA


    This extremely rare find was discovered on a private ranch in Montana and has been tucked away in the rancher's house for the past decade. It was kept in field jackets (the original matrix and wrapped in plaster) so the quality and completeness was unknown until the preparation began in July of 2008. One could imagine the pleasant surprise of the new owners when they discovered how complete this skull actually is, over 93% complete! The preservation and bone quality is superb and surprisingly very little distortion has occurred while buried for the past 68 million years. Rarely are dinosaur skulls of this large size found articulated and in one piece, so because of this, extra care and attention was given during the preparation as to not lose any of the scientific data.

    This huge skull measures an impressive 7 ½ feet in length from the beak to the frill making this important specimen one of the largest of its kind and certainly among the most complete. Though the left brow horn was missing it is believe that it was sheared off in battle as the bone indicates it was broken off while the animal was still alive evidenced by signs of healing. Most of the restoration on this skull was on the missing horn along with small areas of the frill, eye orbits and nasal. The lower jaws were found intact and are virtually complete along with most of their original teeth, though most of the teeth in the upper jaws were missing. The frill stretches out over 5 feet wide and is naturally fused to the skull which is common on adult Triceratops. On younger animals the frill would have been separate (in three sections) and held in place by cartilage.

    Another scientifically significant feature of this important skull is the presence of a complete and well preserved brain case which gives us a glimpse of how small their brains were in comparison to their huge and massive bodies.

    Triceratops (meaning three-horned face) was a rhinoceros-like dinosaur that had a short, pointed tail, a bulky body, and walked on short, sturdy, column-like legs with hoof-like claws. They grew in lengths up to 30 feet, up to 10 feet tall, and weighed up to 12 tons, making it the largest dinosaur in the ceratopsians family. They are also among the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and are often portrayed in fearsome battle scenes with the feared Tyrannosaurus rex!

    The skull, together with the lower jaws, has been professionally mounted on an adjustable custom steel armature with three height levels. Wheel casters are included in this display for easy movement. Comes complete with a photo history and documentation from the landowner.


    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 Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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