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    Description

    LARGE FOSSIL FROG
    Eupelobates sp.
    Eocene
    Messel, Germany

    This prehistoric amphibian was probably related to the family of land-living frogs known as Liptodactylidae that is well-represented today in South America. Its exceptional state of preservation, bone detail and three-dimensionality are typical of the world-class fossils from the Messel Pit locality in the south-western German state of Hesse, close to Frankfurt-am-Main. The deposits here are found in a bituminous shale layer which accounts for their superb preservation; it also makes excavation extremely problematic, and the usual practice is to pour resin around the fossil in situ before its removal. The large system of lakes that covered this area 50 million years ago was home to a huge variety of aquatic species, and attracted just as many land-dwelling animals from the surrounding and lush sub-tropical forests. Unfortunately for these unsuspecting beasts, however, the lakes were also prone to the periodic release of toxic gases caused by subterranean volcanic activity; the result is that the oil shale of the Messel Pit has yielded some of the most spectacularly varied and well-preserved fossils anywhere in the world, and the present example is no exception. The frog itself measures an impressive 6 inches long, extremely large for this locale, and is presented on a resin plaque 8¾ x 7 7/8 inches.


    Estimate: $14,000 - $18,000.

    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 Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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