North Africa, Morocco, Cretaceous, ca. 80 to 72 million years ago. An impressive skull from a plesiosaur, an extinct, large marine reptile, probably an elasmosaurid, with a characteristically narrow, triangular head. The huge nostrils are clearly visible here, near the eyes rather than at the tip of the snout. Interestingly, they do not appear to have been adapted to smelling underwater! The large eye sockets are face upward. The teeth are needle-like, sharp cones with fine striations from tip to base. The upper part of the skull is represented here, while the mandible is gone. A fierce, incredibly ancient creature! Size: 13.2" L x 9" W x 3.25" H (33.5 cm x 22.9 cm x 8.3 cm); 6" H (15.2 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Ohio, USA collection, acquired before January 2019; ex-private Virginia collection, acquired in Morocco
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Repaired and restored from multiple pieces, with approximately 70% original material. Some small losses to peripheries, including some of the tips of the teeth. Nice deposits on surface.