6.9" Fossil Oreodont (Merycoidodon) Skull on Base - South Dakota

This is a 6.9" long skull of an Oreodont (Merycoidodon culbertsoni). It was collected from the White River Formation in Pennington County, South Dakota and would be approximately 30-35 million years old. The preservation of the majority of this skull is excellent considering most of these skulls are found heavily fragmented and compressed. This specimen features nice three dimensional preservation with very little compression or disarticulation. Additionally, this specimen has been prepped free of almost all of the surrounding rock and comes in two pieces that were meticulously prepared.

It is accompanied by a custom display stand that separates the mandible from the rest of the skull to give a better idea of the natural spacing and articulation.

The majority of the molars and premolars are intact and unrestored, with only minimal restoration to a tooth here or there. The canines are natural, though some did require minimal repair and touchup restoration. The majority of each piece of the skull is natural, with crack repair and limited gap fill restoration done where needed to stabilize or rectify any damage sustained during the collection process.

Following prep, a rock-like material was placed into the open cavities where rock had been removed to add stability to the fragile arches.

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
Pennington County, South Dakota
White River Formation
6.9 x 4.5 x 4.2"
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