North America, Western United States, White River Badlands, South Dakota, Pennington County, Upper Brule Formation, Oligocene, ca. 33 million years ago. A rare and nearly complete fossilized upper skull and lower mandible from a prehistoric mammal known as Hyracodon nebraskensis, one of the earliest relatives to modern rhinoceros! This was a small pony-like ungulate with long, slender limbs for speed, but 3-toes and without horns, browsing the open forests and grasslands of North America. Although visually similar to primitive horses, Hyracodon are often referred to as hornless "running rhinos" to indicate their relation to later genera. The parted lower and upper premolars have central cavities that later rhinoceros relatives also had for grinding up leaves and grasses. A Hyracodon skull of this size with the lower mandible attached in a dynamic pose is a rare and notable find. The fossilized position of the open mouth seems to be calling out to the rest of the herd, a fantastic display piece! Size: 13.75" L x 5" W x 8.75" H (34.9 cm x 12.7 cm x 22.2 cm)
Provenance: private New Jersey, USA collection; ex-Ryan Courtney collection, Windermere, Florida, USA collection
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Professionally prepared. Expected restoration on the cranium, nasals, right cheek, lower mandible & 3 incisor teeth, and upper jaw incisors are restored with new material. Losses to enamel and chips to other teeth, but most are intact and well preserved! Rare to find such a complete skull!