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    Description

    MOSASAUR JAW SECTION
    Order: Mosasauridae
    Cretaceous
    Khouribga phosphate deposits, Morocco

    Undisputed Emperors of the high Cretaceous seas, the mosasauridae were a family of enormous serpentine marine reptile that were at the top of their food chain and scourged the many and varied ocean-dwelling creatures with which they shared these same waters. Having a heavy barrel-shaped body and powerfully propulsive tail, it knew no rivals. They were named for the river Meuse, near Maastricht in the Netherlands, where remains of this astonishing creature were first discovered in the late 18th century, but specimens have been excavated from Antarctica, Australasia, Europe, Africa and the Americas from north to south. Discovered in so many different locales, it is no wonder that there is a profusion of genera, and exact identification is often nigh-on impossible. An estimate of size can sometimes help point the way - some of the Clidastes sp. was as small as 7 feet in length, whereas the Tylosaurus proriger and Mosasaurus hoffmanni could reach up to a fearsome 55 feet long - but the variety was enormous. The present specimen is a perfect illustration of the powerful jaws and fearsome teeth with which it easily disposed of its prey. In fact, like a snake, some species barely needed to use their stocky powerful teeth, having jaws that were double-hinged enabling it to swallow its food whole. This particular specimen was taken from the abundant phosphate deposits of northwestern Morocco and boasts 15 well-preserved teeth and the tip of a sixteenth poking out next to one of the others, each with good enamel coverage. In two sections totaling 50 inches in length, it comes mounted on a wood and brass display base.


    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
    June, 2008
    8th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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