8.25" Fossil Oreodont (Merycoidodon) Skull - South Dakota

This is a nicely prepared skull of Merycoidodon, a genus of oreodont from the Oligocene-aged White River Formation of Pennington County, South Dakota. The upper skull and mandible have been prepared as two separate pieces that sit on the accompanied stand/base in articulated fashion.

Upper Skull: Both zygomatic arches are mostly complete, though there is some disarticulation and crack repair. A couple of repaired cracks can be found throughout the upper skull, with the most notable along the base of the nuchal crest. Many of these cracks required some minor gap fill restoration where the bone crumbled away. Four of the incisors have been restored, though the remaining teeth are natural.

Mandible: This portion of the skull has undergone some significant restoration. Everything superior to the angles of both sides of the mandible has been restored. The anterior end of the mandible has also been restored which includes the left anterior-most premolar, the left canine, and all of the incisors. The remaining teeth are all natural with only a couple teeth requiring minor repair or restoration.

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.
$1,150 $1,035
Merycoidodon sp.
Pennington County, South Dakota
White River Formation
8.25 x 4.55 x 4.5"
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