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    Description

    EXCEPTIONAL FOSSIL CROCODILE
    Steneosaurus bollensis
    Lower Jurassic
    Holzmaden, Germany

    Unlike the rest of the dinosaurs, crocodylians survived the great Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event into modern times, and so it is sometimes startling to look at a fossil such as this and recognize clearly the ancestor of one of today's living creatures. Crocodiles in the Mesozoic era were largely ocean-dwelling creatures, but the Steneosaurus is distinguished by its heavily-armored body, indicating that it probably inhabited estuary areas rather than the open sea, (typically, fully marine crocodiles have a much-reduced armor plating to allow for greater body flexibility when swimming). The rings along the neck act as protection for the gullet, which was the only unprotected area of its otherwise heavily-armored body. This is a truly first-class example of such a prehistoric crocodile, from one of the most renowned fossil-collecting localities in the world, the shale beds of Holzmaden. It displays incredible preservation and has been prepared with the utmost skill; with astonishing detail and three-dimensionality from the nose to the tail, every part of its skeletal anatomy is easily and vividly discernible and the curving pose gives it a life-like appearance, as though it were caught in the act of prowling stealthily along the ancient mudflats. The fossil was excavated in 1980 and has remained in the possession of the quarry owner ever since. It has been stabilized on the reverse with a layer of epoxy and fiberglass, reinforced by the addition of square-section steel bars. This metal frame also allows the plate to be hung with relative ease, either horizontally, or, to much more striking effect, vertically. A truly fantastic specimen, measuring an impressive 7 ΒΌ feet in length.


    Estimate: $70,000 - $85,000.

    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
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,143

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