Western Europe, Germany, Rheinland-Pfalz, Permian, ca. 260 million years ago. This extremely rare and large Orthacanthus shark fossil skeleton is a fortuitous opportunity for the ultimate collector looking for the best specimen for their own private museum or to loan on public exhibitions! This is a unique fossil, and points to highlight are its rare straight pose, large, gaping mouth, and a full, dislocated array of all original teeth showing three-dimensional preservation of the unusual forked crowns that these sharks are known for. The white color of the skeleton is natural, every fin is present with complete preservation! This is a male shark and is identified by left and right claspers seen on the ventral region just anterior to the anal fins; prepared in very high relief. On rare occasions, you may see one side of the claspers present but, on this specimen, both are shown because the orientation of the belly in this region is slightly turned for an underside view! Size of shark fossil: 63" L (160 cm); matrix: 80.5" L x 31.5" W (204.5 cm x 80 cm)
From a period in time before the dinosaurs even walked the earth, the bizarre Orthacanthus thrived in prehistoric swamps and bayous in Europe and North America. The Orthacanthus was an ancient freshwater shark that is no longer in existence. It had a very long spine protruding from the back of the head followed by a long ribbon-like dorsal fin that gave it the appearance of an eel. The double forked teeth were another unique characteristic. A full grown Orthacanthus is believed to have grown to 10 feet in length and was THE most dangerous apex predator that terrorized all creatures that lived in its environment.
SPECIAL NOTE: The current laws in this state of Germany have forbid the collection of these remarkable fossils since 1986. This legislation has permanently ended the supply of such magnificent specimens such as this one being offered here. This rare example was originally collected years prior to the ban.
This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.
Provenance: ex-private German collection
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids. PLEASE NOTE:
Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany.
For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.
Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.
This is a 100% original shark fossil with no compositing of pieces from another shark. Professionally prepared and repairs with only 1% fabrication of gaps and cracks filled. Sealer applied to stone slab. White skeletal color is natural with rare instance of all teeth exposed. A supreme example with meticulous 3D preparation!