10.6" Fossil Oreodont (Merycoidodon) Skull with Associated Bones

This is a fascinating oreodont (Merycoidodon culbertsoni) partial skeleton in situ, collected from the White River Formation of Converse County, Wyoming. This formation is Oligocene in age, making this fossil approximately 32 million years old! In addition to the well preserved skull, naturally associated bones of the spine and arm are still preserved within the rock.

The skull is in excellent condition with most of the teeth preserved. There are two teeth that required some restoration which is incredible considering the canines and incisors are often completely restored on oreodont skull specimens. Portions of bone are missing from areas of the skull, and some gap fill restoration can be found on the left side of the skull, primarily around the orbital and zygomatic arch. There are some spots of gap fill within the rock where it broke during collection and the rock crumbled away. Some of these cracks run through bones, resulting in some crack repair and gap fill.

Entire specimen - 10.6 x 8.8 x 4.6"
Skull - 5.2 x 3.4 x 2.8"

Artist's reconstruction of Merycoidodon.  By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) Creative Commons License
Artist's reconstruction of Merycoidodon. By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) Creative Commons License

Oreodonts are an extinct mammal most closely related to camels and pigs. They have no close relatives living today. They were herbivorous, with short faces and fang-like canine teeth. About the size of a sheep, they roamed the plains of North America in huge numbers during the Oligocene period.
Merycoidodon culbertsoni
Converse County, Wyoming
White River Formation
Entire specimen: 10.6 x 8.8 x 4.6"
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