Full Details for Lot 326

     

 

Sale NH1305 Lot 326

A SUPERB SABER-TOOTH TIGER SKELETON
Pogonodon platycopis
Late Oligocene
White River Badlands, Upper Brule Formation, NE Shannon Co, South Dakota

This magnificent skeleton is simply the finest specimen known to exist of this ancient Saber-Tooth. The Pogonodon was a member of the Nimravidae, not in fact related to the true cats (Felidae) but very similar in appearance. The Pogonodon could grow up to the size of a modern Jaguar or Lioness, and operated in a similar way to the saber-tooth cats, with powerful forelimbs that suggest it would take on prey significantly larger than itself, and of course those curving, saber-like canines. It is presumed that these were used more for slashing than stabbing, as the danger of a breakage would be too great in the latter case; but with one swipe, the animal could sever arteries or the windpipe of its prey, rendering it easily manageable. The present specimen displays superb preservation, and has been prepared to the highest museum quality standards, with only minor restoration and reconstruction (70-80% complete). The bones are completely undistorted, with a wonderful white patination, offset by the creamy gray enamel of the teeth, including magnificent 4-inch long sabers. Presented in a lifelike pose, ready to pounce, on a discreet metal armature raised at an evocative angle from an under-beveled stained wood plinth base, it measures 67 inches long and stands 33 inches high overall. The Pogonodon has not been formally described in the paleontological literature, and no such complete and finely formed skeleton exists in any museum or private collection; thus this example, easily dismountable for study of individual bones, offers an extremely rare opportunity for important research. More than that, however, it is a highly aesthetic, dramatic, and important American fossil.
Estimate $250,000-300,000

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