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    Description

    Dire Wolf
    Canis dirus
    Pleistocene
    Nodaway River, Page County, Iowa, USA




    The Dire Wolf is one of the most legendary of prehistoric carnivores and can somewhat be thought of as the canine version of the Saber-tooth Cat. The "fearsome dog" was similar in size to the largest of the modern gray wolves and likely a pack hunter consistent with its "hypercarnivorous" lifestyle. The Dire Wolf disappeared at the end of the "Ice Age" like most of the giant mammals of the Pleistocene. This was an amazing predator and is represented by the dogs on the HBO series "Game of Thrones" that is popular today and portrayed as orphaned wolf cubs on the show. The animals in their heyday were thought to not only be able to tear the flesh of their prehistoric prey but also to crush bones with the force of their bite in order to extract the nutrients from the internal marrow. It is easy to understand why the canid is so fascinating even today. The specimen presented here is a one-of-a kind example, which did not come from the tar pits of the West Coast and is arguably bigger than most of the other known skulls of Canis dirus. Discovered near the Nodaway River, in Iowa, this Dire Wolf skull looks every bit the part of a dominant predator. The brownish-gray coloration is apropos of the ancient beast, and the skull is long, with a large amount of impressive teeth. Presented on a custom armature, the skull consists of a maxilla and a mandible, which, not surprisingly, was fully reconstructed, and is actually rather typical with vertebrate skulls. Fortunately, the major part of the skull is in exceptional condition, having been preserved with some 90% of the original bone material intact. The skull measures 11.31 inches (28.70 cm) in length, and Dire Wolf skulls of this size are few, and far, between. The "over the top" measurement is some 13 inches (33.02 cm) across. The specimen is a true museum-quality example for many reasons, and the combination of size and quality places it in a class by itself. This singular offering of a Dire Wolf skull in such good condition with significant size and from a unique locality is not likely to be duplicated anytime soon. This is a serious collector's specimen.
    Overall Measurements: 11.31 x 6.88 x 10.24 inches (28.70 x 17.47 x 26.00 cm)
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    [Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]




    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
    December, 2018
    15th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,612

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