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    Description

    SUPERB FOSSIL CROCODILE
    Dyrosaurus phosphaticus
    Lower Eocene, Ypresian stage
    Oulad Abdoun basin, Khouribga, Morocco

    Dyrosaurus were a genus of aquatic reptile, similar in appearance to today's crocodilians, with long slender jaws bristling with recurvate teeth. They were to be found primarily in the Trans-Saharan Sea, although others of the dyrosauridae clade have been found on most other continents, and it is thought that they originated, in fact, in North America. Despite the discovery of numerous dyrosaur remains, most are found in poorly preserved condition and little scientific research has been possible. This makes the present specimen all the more exceptional: this near complete dyrosaur was discovered in a nodule from the phosphate beds of the Oulad Abdoun basin of Morocco and meticulously cleaned and freed from the rock by hand. After much careful cleaning and preparation, the result is a complete dyrosaurus skeleton, strikingly mounted in a dramatic curving pose with open jaws and minimal restoration. With its mouth open and body posed in an upward lunging position, one can picture this ancient crocodilian breaching the surface as it strikes at its prey. The quality of the bones is superb, from the lovely clean white coloring to the fine texture; the skull is of particularly high quality, with almost complete dentition, the vicious teeth giving a vivid impression of its predatory effectiveness. Even a large section of the rarely preserved anterior dorsal osteoderms (crocodilian armor; also known as scutes) is present; appearing as a shield composed of individual armor pieces, this structure protected the dorsal side of the dyrosaur, just as it protects those of crocodiles and alligators today. The total length of the skeleton is just under 12 ft (3.6m) and it is mounted on a well-designed black metal armature from two floor stands, 78 inches high overall - a highly significant, museum-quality specimen.


    Estimate: $60,000 - $75,000.

    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 Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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