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    Description

    GIANT CRETACEOUS SEA TURTLE SKULL
    Lytoloma genus
    Upper Cretaceous
    Phosphate beds, Khouribga Province, Morocco

    The Khouribga province of Morocco is home to the largest phosphate reserves in the world; measuring 25 x 25 miles and rising 2500 feet above sea level, the deposit bears the nickname "Plateau des Phosphates". Within the deposit are the remains of a rich variety of marine life including fish, sharks, marine reptiles, flying reptiles, and other fauna who thrived in the Trans-Saharan sea approximately 65 million years ago. Fossil finds are usually partially deformed by sedimentary processes and complete fossils are rare because of the heavy machinery and dynamite used to harvest the phosphate. Therefore, a fossil such as this giant sea turtle skull is particularly special; it was found well preserved with no deformity and near-complete, and even with its original lower jaw still attached. The skull belongs to a sea turtle of the Lytoloma genus, which were found throughout the world's tropical oceans during the Cretaceous. The Lytoloma genus has not been well studied since the late 1800's and the present specimen may be the finest skull ever found. It has been professionally prepared and is presented on a custom-made stand that allows the lower jaw to rest in an open, life-like position. Measuring 8 ½ x 6 x 6 inches with a mouth opened 3 inches, the complete specimen sits 5 inches tall on its stand.


    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
    June, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,377

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