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    Description

    RARE PRIMITIVE FOSSIL BIRD
    Confuciusornis sanctus
    Cretaceous, Aptian Stage
    Yixian Formation, Sihetun Sites, Liaoning Province, China

    Due to their delicate hollow bones, birds stand little chance of preservation in the fossil record; this specimen, however, is so fine that even the feather detail can easily be seen. Perfectly positioned, belly up and with its wings open, it is amongst the finest examples of its rare kind. The skull and primitive, edentulous beak are excellently preserved, and there is superb three-dimensionality to the limbs, right down to the curving raptor-like toe claws and the paired tail feathers that identify this specimen as a male. The first ancient bird to be discovered outside Germany, Confuciusornis sanctus retains many of the primitive dinosaurian features exhibited by the world famous Archaeopteryx specimens from Solnhofen, but has shed the bony tail vertebra in favor of a short, fused pygostyle bone, and is notable for its lack of teeth - the first recorded bird to exhibit these features. A tremendously important species, this 125 million-year-old bird is the earliest known beaked bird fossil and a fascinating link with the terrestrial dinosaurs. The fossil itself measures 10¼ inches long and is presented under Plexiglas in a mahogany frame, 18¾ x 13 5/8 inches overall.


    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 Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,303

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