Gillicus arcuatus
    Late Cretaceous
    Smoky Hill Chalk, Niobrara Formation, Logan Co., Western Kansas, USA

    85 Million years ago, the continent of what is today North America was split in two by the warm, shallow waters of the Western Interior Seaway, or Niobraran Sea. This waterway was home to a wide variety of fish and other marine life, some of the most celebrated of which have been found in the Kansas chalk of the Niobrara Formation. This fantastic specimen is particularly well-preserved, with superb three-dimensionality and detail throughout the skull, and retaining six vertebrae, three of which are turned on their side to present a distinctive, scooped-out disc shape. The Gillicus was similar in size and shape to the modern-day Tarpon, growing to around six feet in length. They had rows of tiny teeth in their jaw, but were more likely to have fed by sucking in smaller fish, and perhaps also by filter feeding. They were prey, however, to their larger relatives, including the Xiphactinus; a celebrated example is held in the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Kansas, with a perfectly preserved, six foot-long Gillicus in its belly. This superb skull boasts a warm, dark brown patina with an enamel-like gloss in places, strikingly presented against a pale sandy pho-matrix and framed in stained wood, 15½ x 22½ overall.

    Estimate: $2,000 - $2,800.

    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. 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
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 832

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