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    Allaeochelys crassesculptata
    Eocene, Messel Formation
    Messel, Landkreis Darmstadt-Dieburg, Hesse, Germany

    Although this particular Turtle is not implicated, nine male and female pairs of Allaeochelys crassesculptata have the dubious honor of being the only recorded instances of fossil vertebrates actually - "doing it."* Presumably, volcanically derived gases associated with the lake put a premature end to the party. Unfortunately, the fine example offered here went to its final resting place without an amorous companion: Quel Dommage. In any case, this is a fine strapping turtle that is largely "inflated" as Paleontologists would say and although the shell shows a few signs of "slippage," it is largely complete with excellent surface detail. As mentioned in regard to lot 73234, the process of stabilizing Messel fossil material, while simultaneously removing the gloppy matrix (40+ percent water and 8 percent shale oil) requires the patience of Job and the hands of a neurosurgeon. Now that the locality is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there will be no further offerings of Messel material with the exception of material removed prior to 1995. This one has been around a bit longer than that. The shell of our lonely turtle measures 5.5 x 5.75 inches (13.97 x 14.61 cm) and he is well centered in an epoxy "matrix" normal for Messel specimens.
    Overall Measurements: 9.5 x 9.25 inches (24.13 x 23.49 cm)
    * Walter J. Joyce et al Biol. Lett. 23 Oct. 2012, Vol. 8 No.5, pg. 846-848

    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
    September, 2014
    28th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,179

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