Archaeotherium mortoni
    Early Oligocene
    Brule Formation
    White River Badlands
    South Dakota

    This simply incredible fossil skull of Archaeotherium mortoni belonged to the group known as Entelodonts which were peculiar distant relatives of modern-day pigs and shared the trait of an omnivorous lifestyle although it likely leaned more towards the carnivorous rather than the herbivorous side of the diet! Sometimes nicknamed 'hell pigs" or even "terminator pigs" as well, these beasts, although omnivorous, were considered the apex predators of North America during the early Miocene and Oligocene Epochs, existing for a period of about 21 million years. This spectacular specimen is unique for a number of reasons. Being a juvenile, it is a much more rare find than even the other fossil pigs coming out of the Badlands. The "baby" did not have the tough and thick build of an adult. This skull has an impressive set of teeth, and the great dentition sets the fossil apart from many others. This "ancient beast" is an extinct member of Artiodactyla - the even-toed ungulates. It probably resembled a large, fanged peccary the size of a modern cow with bumps projecting from the side of its head, and it had high shoulders presumably to carry strong neck muscles in support of a heavy head. The creature had a tiny brain but well devleoped olfactory lobes indicating a keen sense of smell. It obviously is superficially pig-like, but it probably behaved more like modern carnivores, and some evidence suggests it would have kept caches of food if and when hunting was not successful. Although Archaeotherium only existed for about 6 million years, it definitely made a mark on the ancient landscape of South Dakota. This self-collected specimen can be considered a "once in a lifetime" find and is a truly magnificent specimen of this ancient beast. This skull has minimal restoration around the periphery which is quite common among vertebrate fossils from the White River Badlands and has a good sized area of restoration at the end of the snout on the upper jaw including the teeth.
    Measurements: 15 x 9 x 8 inches (38.1 x 22.86 x 20.32 cm), weighs 31 pounds (14 kg).
    Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: A Private Texas Collection; Self-collected

    Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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