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    Mesohippus bairdi
    Early Oligocene
    Brule Formation
    White River Badlands
    South Dakota

    Mesohippus (literally "middle horse") was a common early horse in North America which lived some 30 to 40 million years ago. It had longer legs that its predecessor Eohippus and had lost a toe becoming a three-toed horse (odd-toed ungulate). Its teeth were low crowned unlike earlier horses and contained a single gap behind the front teeth - where the bit now rests in the modern horse. It also had an extra grinding tooth for a total of six. This ancestral horse was a browser that fed on tender twigs and fruit. It had a larger cranial cavity and featured a brain that was similar to that of modern horses. This superlative specimen has phenomenally preserved teeth - often the only fossil remnants found of these ancient horses - as their bones were so thin they were not likely to be fossilized. Of particular note, the piece has a series of five articulated vertebrae protruding from the back of the skull which curve under the bottom jaw as to be expected. This self-collected fossil was literally the "find of a lifetime" for the owner as the well-preserved horse fossil is a holy grail for any serious Badlands fossil hunter. This fossil skull exhibits only minor restoration with a small patch at the tip of the snout.This piece is a museum-quality specimen that should appeal to any serious collector. Horse fossils of this quality from the Badlands are simply not prevalent. This skull is superb evaluated from any angle and is a prize to truly be treasured.
    Measurements: 8 x 5 x 3 inches (20.32 x 12.7 x 7.62 cm).
    Offered at no reserve.

    A Private Texas Collection; Self-collected

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    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
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 986

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