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    Description

    FINE "DUCK-BILLED" DINOSAUR SKULL
    Edmontosaurus annectens
    Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage
    Hell Creek Formation, Wibaux Co., Montana, USA

    The Edmontosaurus was one of the duck-billed Hadrosauridae that flourished just prior to the final extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. A contemporary of the Triceratops and the T. rex, they ranged widely across North America, but the distribution of their fossils suggests that they preferred a coastal plain habitat. One of the largest of the Hadrosaurs, Edmontosaurus could grow to over 40 feet in length. The family is distinguished by the elongated, spoon-like snout, and although the skull of the Edmontosaurus was not as flattened towards the front as in some genera, the duck-like beak shape remains distinctive in this excellent specimen. The Hadrosaurs' numerous teeth constantly renewed themselves, growing in a column arrangement, and occurred only in the maxillae (upper cheeks) and dentaries (main lower jaw), as one can see here if one peers deep into the cavernous mouth. One also notices on close inspection the curious row of holes that run along the inside of the jaw: these are special foramina, and their purpose and function has been debated for over sixty years. Some posit that they were canals that allowed branches from the maxillary dental nerve and blood supply to reach the mouth and lip tissues; others suggest they were used in some way for vocalizing; still others that they were the mounting points for a dental lamina that contributed to the frequent replacement of the teeth. This is found in many other Ornithischia, and also the Ceratopsia, of the area and period. The Hell Creek Formation in Montana is renowned for the large amount of Cretaceous fauna and flora in its record, and this is an example of the highest quality, with a lovely dark brown patination and good detail. Fully inflated and extremely impressive as a display piece, it is complete with five robust post-cranial vertebrae; the right mandible (lower jaw) is a high-quality cast but apart from that the rest of the skull is 75-80% original, 47 inches long overall, raised on an ebonized metal armature over a burl wood base, 29 inches high.


    Estimate: $35,000 - $45,000.

    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 Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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