Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    AN EXCELLENT ALLOSAURUS TOOTH WITH ROOT
    Allosaurus fragilis
    Late Jurassic - 144-156 Million Years Old
    Morrison Formation, Buckshot Quarry, Moffat County, Colorado


    Allosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur that was the "top carnivore" of the Jurassic like T. rex was in the later Cretaceous period. It reached lengths of up to 35 feet and weighed up to 3 tons. It was bipedal, meaning that it walked on its hind legs, and was a distant cousin of T. rex, but there is strong evidence that, if anything, Allosaurus was far more ferocious and deadlier than T. rex. First, Allosaurus possessed large hands with huge claws (one giant claw and two smaller, yet still deadly, claws per hand). Its arms were strong enough to pick up a Volkswagen "Bug", so it could literally disembowel its prey with one swipe of its massive paws. T. rex, by comparison, had tiny little arms and two puny claws no bigger than those from a modern Ostrich on each hand. Its arms were so shrunken that they could not have been used in attack but may have been used to hold the prey down or to help lift itself from the prone position. Second, Allosaurus had much better anchored teeth than T. rex (i.e. Allosaurus tooth roots are much longer and stronger than those on a comparable T. rex) indicating that it was an active and violent hunter, slashing and tearing at its prey with its mouth. T. rex was probably a brute-force hunter that used its massive size and huge teeth to just ram into its prey, gaping mouth first, and bowl them over, hoping to do mortal damage with the arsenal of spikes in its mouth and the bone-crushing impact. Third, Allosaurus was much stronger, pound for pound, than T. rex and was very agile and quick. T. rex certainly was too massive to be agile, and scientists have argued extensively about how fast it could move, but even if T. rex had good speed in a straight-line run, Allosaurus was significantly faster and, no doubt, was able to run its prey down in an active, pursuing style. In conclusion, Allosaurus may just have been the strongest and most effective killer among all of the large theropods in the fossil record. Unfortunately, there is no way to go back in time and have a "Dinosaur Olympics" to prove who was the best, but Allosaurus was certainly one of the best dinosaur athletes of all time.

    Dinosaur teeth have very fragile roots so it is extremely rare for any to be preserved with the roots intact. Here is one such example. This tooth exhibits a gorgeous natural olive green color on the enamel with a dark gray root. The blade (the enamel portion of the tooth with serrations for cutting flesh) measures 1 3/4 inches and exhibits some checking and cracking consistent with burial in clay sediments (clay is an unstable soil and shifts often) but is otherwise perfect and complete to the tip. The root had several areas missing which have been expertly restored, comprising 20% of the root area. The length of the tooth has not been altered by the restoration. Allosaurus teeth in this condition are exceptionally rare and perhaps only one in one thousand is of this quality. Measures 4 1/2 inches long. A superlative and exceptionally rare dinosaur tooth.


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,271

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 45 days left to consign to the 2019 November 1 American Art Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    In my estimation Taylor exemplified professionalism and in that respect clearly added value to Heritage Auctions as their representative.
    Robert B.,
    Philadelphia, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,477,033