SABRE-TOOTH CAT FOSSILIZED SKULL.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:00:00 AM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:00:00 AM)
Auction #209 - Part I
Item numbers 1 through 1144 in auction 209
Sabre-toothed cats first appeared in the fossil record 34-38 million years ago. Their hyper-developed canine teeth were essentially finely-serrated knives specialized for killing or feeding. Many scientists have theorized about these formidable weapons, but the most likely explanation is that they developed a hunting style that allowed them to capture prey and deliver a powerful blow that severed the jugular or other critical blood supply, or sliced through the windpipe. This would render the prey instantly inactive and thus minimize injury risk to themselves from the normal struggles of dying prey, some of which would have been significantly larger than the cat. Offered here is a 4.5" wide, 7" long, 3.75" tall fossilized skull of Dinitis squalidens, a member of the Nimravidae genus, an extinct family of feliform mammalian carnivores w/protruding upper canine teeth. Dinictis was endemic to North America from the Late Eocene to Early Miocene epochs (37.2—20.4 million years ago), existing for approximately 16.8 million years. Dinictis had a sleek body 3.5' long, short legs 2' high w/incompletely retractable claws, powerful jaws, and a long tail. Its upper canines were relatively small by comparison (2" long), but they nevertheless distinctly protruded from its mouth. Below the tips of the canines, its lower jaw spread out in the form of a lobe. Dinictis walked plantigrade (flat-footed), unlike modern felines. Its appearance was similar to that of a small leopard and it appears its mode of life was similar to that of a leopard. This specimen comes from the South Dakota Badlands. Skull has scattered all-over cracks from the pressures of fossilization and has some scattered restoration, most noticeable on interior of lower jaw w/a few hairline cracks w/repairs and along zygomatic arches (cheek bones), which show some restoration. Teeth have some repairs as well, and first premolar is missing on both sides of lower jaw, as well as on upper jaw. Rest of teeth are present, w/minor restoration to front teeth. The skull is almost perfectly inflated w/limited distortion. Still makes for a great prehistoric fossil display. Because these cats were solitary hunters w/large territories, their fossil remains are much rarer than herd or pack animals, w/only isolated finds being made, and never more than one animal in the same area unless it was a den. Comes w/custom display base. From the Robert M. Overstreet Collection and comes with COA.
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