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PERFECT SMALL CETACEAN ( WHALE) ATLAS VERTEBRA

Undisclosed River - South Carolina, U.S.A.

MIOCENE to PLIOCENE PERIOD:  23.3 - 1.81 million years ago

Compared to the ugly and dark, crud-stained whale vertebra typically found in rivers, this exquisitely preserved atlas whale vertebra fossil looks as though it just stepped from a protective time capsule.  It is absolutely perfect and if you like the images, it is even NICER in person!  We cannot accurately attribute this little gem of a cetacean vertebra to a specific species but it either came from a beaked dolphin or baby whale of another type.  This is one of the very few PERFECT river fossil bones you will probably ever see.  It is perfect to display alongside a shark tooth collection as this creature would have shared the same waters and time period as many of the dangerous sharks found off the East Coast of North America during the Miocene / Pliocene including the infamous MEGALODON shark.  

With its stunningly smooth surfaces and completely solid articulating surfaces in the joints, this is a superb specimen for reference or education as well as being a fantastic fossil for private display.  Vertebra is a natural dark chocolate brown and very dense.  This is the atlas vertebra which articulates with the axis vertebra, both connecting the skull to the spine.  Not a single process or part of anatomy of this specimen is damaged or eroded.  Entire vertebra is intact with NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.  COLOR IS NATURAL AND AS FOUND!  

Whales, dolphins and porpoises make up the group of air-breathing marine mammals called CETACEANS.  Their body structure is highly adapted for their marine environment.  These features include paddle-like forelimbs, lack of external hind limbs, large tail for propulsion underwater, dorsally located nostrils for breathing just above the surface of the water, specialized ears for underwater hearing and a streamlined body profile for efficient hydrodynamic locomotion.  

All cetaceans are carnivorous with a main diet consisting of fish, invertebrates and other marine mammals.  Many cetacean fossils are found in sediments alongside fossil shark teeth and other marine vertebrates but whale fossils are much less common compared to other marine vertebrate fossils of the same period and region and whale fossils are often found in fragments or show evidence of predation by prehistoric sharks, no doubt, cetaceans most feared enemy in their prehistoric past.  

AMAZING SPECIMEN - HARD AND HEAVY AS ROCK BUT AS PERFECT AS POSSIBLE!

3.4" x 2.5" overall with processes

SOLD     MV21-002     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

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