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    Description

    Fossil Snake
    Unidentified Boa
    Eocene
    Messel, Darmstadt, Germany


    Fossil snakes are extremely rare in the fossil record due to their light weight and delicate bone structures, especially ones in such great condition such as the present specimen. Clearly visible are the well preserved vertebrae, ribs and skull. It measures 7.25 inches (18.41 cm) in serpentine position and comes displayed on a resin matrix.

    50 million years ago a large lake covered with what is now the mining pit at Messel, Germany. Animals would come to drink from its deceptively still waters, linger by the shore and bathe in the shallows. At irregular intervals, a plume of poisonous gas would rush to the surface, asphyxiating any creatures it enveloped. At the bottom of the lake was a thick layer of oil shale which covered over the Eocene animals, preserving them intact across the millennia. Because of the oil rich sediments, an extraordinary degree of preservation exists from this sight, preserving, in some cases, even the soft tissue, skin and fur of these animals.
    Overall Measurements: 10.94 x 5.75 x 0.33 inches (27.80 x 14.60 x 0.85 cm)

    Provenance: The Property from an East Coast Collection
    Phillips, New York, June 8, 1996 (lot 346)


    [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
    September, 2019
    28th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,281

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