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    Description

    SUPERB SABER-TOOTHED CAT SKULL
    Dinicits squalidens
    Oligocene, Chattian Stage
    Scenic Member, Brule Formation, Pennington Co, South Dakota
    Dinictis was one of the very first saber-toothed cats to develop that have been preserved in the fossil record, appearing approximately 38 million years ago. It was a swift predator and member of the Nimravidae family, the "false" saber-toothed cats, similar though not related to the famous Smilodon. Their hyper-developed canine teeth were essentially finely-serrated knives specialized for killing or feeding. This fossil cat, Dinictis, was definitely a solitary hunter with a probable lifestyle very similar to that of a modern leopard. Because of this solitary lifestyle and the fact that they ranged across wide territories, their fossil remains are very much rarer than those of herd or pack animals. With a natural ecosystem prey-to-predator ratio of 50 to 1 (which has been established fairly consistently throughout the fossil record and even to the present day), fossilized carnivores are 50 times rarer than herbivores, and cats are the rarest of all carnivores, comprising only a percent or two of the total. Thus, a cat fossil is at least a thousand times rarer than that of any of his prey animals. As a result, the current specimen is especially important, in good condition, with lovely bone texture and patination. It measures 7 inches long by 4¾ inches wide and is raised to a height of 7¼ inches on a metal and wood display stand.


    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
    January, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,162

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