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    Description

    Ferocious "Bulldog" Fossil Fish Skeleton
    Xiphanctinus audax
    Cretaceous
    Niobrara Formation
    Kansas, USA

    The name Xiphactinus means "sword-ray" in Latin, referring to the long pectoral fins. This species were large aggressive bony fish with a thick boned skull and a mouth full of sharp piercing teeth and could reach lengths of up to eighteen feet. Their deadly nature has been communicated to us over those millions of years by numerous specimens found with whole fish in their stomachs.

    Shaped like a modern tarpon (to which they were not related), the Xiphactinus was distinguished by the heavy bony head and long, thick body. These distinguishing characteristics are perfectly represented in this superb specimen from the abundant chalk deposits of the Niobrara Formation in Kansas. The detail of preservation, texture and three-dimensionality to the skull is simply remarkable. The skeleton displays first-class preservation and preparation, all the more remarkable given the instability of the matrix in which these fossils are found, it is necessary to collect them using the painstaking plaster jacket method, whereby the bones are cleaned in the field, a frame is constructed around the fossil and then finsnished with plaster. After the plaster has set, the slab is dug under and loosened, then carefully turned over. This exposes the underside of the fossil which is then painstakingly prepared in the laboratory for exhibit.

    The present specimen is largely from a single creature with only a few vertebrae having been replaced and were carefully matched for size and scientific accuracy. The fine specimen is of a significant and robust size for this species, mounted in a natural pose, with the jaw opened to showcase its fearsome teeth which are mostly original. The fossil itself measures 15 feet, 10 inches in length and has been placed in an imitation stone duplicating the original matrix in color and texture, in a stained wooden frame 17 x 5 feet.

    This specimen was formerly in the collection of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center of Woodland Park, Colorado.
    Overall Measurements: 194.00 x 62.00 x 8.00 inches (492.76 x 157.48 x 20.32 cm)

    Provenance: The Property from an East Coast Collection
    Heritage Auctions, Dallas, September 2009.


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    28th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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