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    Description

    KILLER FISH FROM KANSAS
    Xiphactinus audax
    Upper Cretaceous, 87-65 MYA
    Kansas

    The shallow warm sea that covered much of Kansas, Nebraska, and North Texas during the Upper Cretaceous period, was not the tranquil sort of place that one associates with the term - "tropical sea." Among other sea-going nasties was Xiphactinus: the largest bony fish of the period. This toothy predator was very similar to the modern Tarpon or Tigerfish, but much bigger: up to 6 meters/ 20 feet in length. Xiphactinus was fast and armed with a lethal set of teeth as the photo shows. The interesting part of the story is that it was frequently scavenged in turn, by sharks of the period, like extinct Cretoxyrhina and Squalicorax. That very efficient predation and scavenging, is very likely the reason that what we have here, is but the head of this example, but what a head it is: almost two feet long and a foot and a half high, with a nightmare mouthful of fangs. With dinosaurs on land and these kinds of monsters in the water, the Cretaceous would have been a terrifying place to live. As famous dinosaur collector E.D.Cope observed: "The head was as long or longer than that of a full grown grizzly bear, and the jaws were deeper in proportion to their length." He also mentioned its "uncommonly powerful offensive dentition." This little memento of the deep past is for those who think having a sail-fish on the wall isn't quite enough. Mounted in an acrylic frame, this is the ultimate fishing trophy.
    Measurements: 28.5 x 23.5 x 2.75 inches (72.4 x 59.7 x 7 cm).

    Provenance: From a private San Francisco collection.


    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
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,561

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