Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended and our offices are closed, except for scheduled appointments. See details including all options for bidding remotely.

    Description

    FINE AMERICAN MOSASAUR SKULL
    Tylosaurus kansasensis
    Late Cretaceous
    Smoky Hill Chalk, Niobrara Formation, Logan
    Co., Western Kansas, USA
    Undisputed Emperors of the high Cretaceous seas, the Mosasauridae were a family of serpentine marine reptiles, apex predators, and scourge of the many and varied ocean-dwelling creatures with which they shared the ancient waters. With a heavy, barrel-shaped body and long propulsive tail, it outlasted all rivals. The family was named for the river Meuse, near Maastricht in the Netherlands, where remains of this astonishing creature were first discovered in the late eighteenth century. Over seventy different species have been discovered around the world, however, in Antarctica, Australasia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas from north to south, ranging from 7 feet in length, to the monstrous 55-foot long Mosasaurus hoffmanni of the late Cretaceous Niobrara chalk in Kansas. This is an outstanding example of a Tylosaurus skull, perfectly preserved with superlative, fine-grained bone texture and a wonderful woody patination. It boasts a near-complete set of the robust and extremely effective-looking, recurvate teeth, with a lovely dark brown enamel. These are backed up by the curious secondary array of pterygoid (flanged) teeth on the palate. The Mosasaur had a soft skull and a jaw that could unhinge, and probably swallowed its prey whole. The still-living food would have been greatly hindered from escaping from the deadly creature's mouth by this nasty surprise waiting inside. Such jaws and dentition are a distinctive feature of Snakes, suggesting to Edward Drinker Cope that Snakes and Mosasaurs may have shared a common ancestor (in fact, they are most similar to the modern Monitor lizards). A museum-standard and highly evocative specimen, the skull measures 47 inches long, presented on an ebonized metal display stand, 23½ inches high.


    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
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 9,845

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 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)
    Track Item

    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
    Consign to the 2020 November 20 Ethnographic Art American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    While I regret my inability to personally view the work, you provided an excellent substitute for my not being able to do so, and I look forward to future Heritage auctions.
    Allan Rappaport,
    Tiburon, CA
    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