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    Description

    INCREDIBLE DINOSAUR SKULL
    Triceratops prorsus
    Late Cretaceous, Hell Creek Formation
    Montana, USA

    Triceratops ("three-horn face") is certainly a readily identifiable Dinosaur by just about everyone including children. It could be argued that it is probably the most popular of all Dinosaurs next to Tyrannosaurus rex. The herbivorous ceratopsian Dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous has been immortalized in an array of scientific and fantasy productions over the years. The first named fossil attributed to Triceratops was a pair of brow horns discovered near Denver, Colorado in 1887. Originally thought to be from an unusual and particularly large bison, the piece was later named Triceratops by legendary paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, once he realized that there were horned Dinosaurs. Even today, much speculation surrounds the function of the impressive frill and pronounced horns of Triceratops. It is commonly believed that the head adornments were used defensively in combat or in displays of courtship, which has recently been thought the most likely primary function. As fearsome as Triceratops appears by looking at its massive horned skull, it is also likely that it was preyed upon by the formidable Tyrannosaurus, which shared the ancient environment with the popular plant-eater. Whether these two dominant beasts ever did battle, as depicted in so many popular images and traditional museum displays, is another questions to be debated.

    Almost nothing has as much broad appeal as a Dinosaur, and an authentic Triceratops skull may be just about as phenomenal of a fossil as one could imagine. This superlative skull of Triceratops prorsus is 75 to 80 percent complete and has most of the restoration on the frill, which is very common with such fossils. Discovered on private land in Montana, and coming from the noted Hell Creek Formation that is famous for incredible Dinosaurs , this skull was unearthed almost ten years ago by an expert collector and was restored by an accomplished preparator, who has restored over seven Triceratops skulls to date. This large skull, featuring an enchanting brown coloration with a reddish hue, exhibits a simply amazing preservation of the bony frill and universally recognizable brow horns. This is unquestionably a museum quality specimen and certainly one worthy of inclusion in any serious collection. The formidable skull has both well-preserved brow horns and is awash in aesthetic appeal. As if this simply unbelievable piece did not have enough to offer, the "syncervical" vertebrae - the first two fused vertebrae attaching to the "occipital condyle" (brain case) - are intact and attached to the skull. The massive skull measures an enormous 80 inches (203 cm) - well over 6 feet! There are clearly many reasons why this piece was selected to be on the cover of this catalog.

    The massive frill is fully reinforced with a metal armature, and the skull is fully mounted on a custom steel stand designed specifically to display the specimen. The skull can be raised and lowered to allow for safe movement of the piece, and the lower jaw is detachable to further enable secure transport of the piece. With the metal components of the stand, the entire piece weighs approximately 2,100 lbs. (952.5 kg). Fortunately, the steel base is equipped with rolling casters which does make moving the Cretaceous beast fairly easy.

    This is a statement piece, a museum-quality specimen and simply an incredible Dinosaur skull. The level of quality, accuracy of restoration and fine detail makes this a truly exceptional Triceratops.
    Overall Measurements: 80 x 44 x 72 inches (203 x 112 x 183 cm)
    [360 degree video]


    Estimate: $200,000 - $250,000.

    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
    September, 2014
    28th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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