MUSEUMS CHOICE     DINOSAURS / REPTILES     INVERTEBRATES     TRILOBITES     AMMONITES     AMPHIBIANS     FISH

PRIMITIVE MAN     ANCIENT MAN     MARINE VERTEBRATES     MEGALODON     SHARKS     PLANTS     LAND MAMMALS

HOME     WHAT'S NEW      JOIN OUR MAILING LIST     HOW TO ORDER     INFORMATION     FOSSIL FRAUD     ABOUT US

 

RARE MIOCENE ALLIGATOR MAXILLA - Suwannee River- Florida, U.S.A.

LATE MIOCENE PERIOD:  11 - 5.2 million years ago

From the Late Miocene deposits of the Suwannee River comes this spectacular gem of a fossil!  This is the posterior portion of the upper left dentary of a primitive North American alligator, Alligator olseni.  The specimen may appear to be from a juvenile creature but it is not.  This reptile was considerably smaller than the current living alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.  

Most remarkable and rare is the fact that the teeth are the original teeth and still attached in their sockets.  The specimen is exactly as found!  Adding to the rarity, each tooth is in impeccable condition as is the bone and without any repair.  Fossil alligator jaws with the original teeth are rare even from the Pleistocene where deposits of the extant species are more plentiful!  NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.  

A. olseni is the earliest member of the Alligatoridae family in Florida, first appearing in the Early Miocene.  Alligator remains become more abundant in the state in the Middle to Late Miocene but these have not been fully studied compared to later material.  Prior to the Miocene Period, it is rare to find ANY terrestrial vertebrate fossils in Florida so this is an important epoch.  

Florida's history of terrestrial vertebrates is extremely important to our fossil record.  Without the knowledge gained from these fossils, the history of Cenozoic terrestrial life on the North American continent would be very incomplete.  

It can be surmised that prehistoric alligators in Florida shared similar living habits to the modern alligator.  To gain an insight as to the nature of this beast, we can look at what we know from a living alligator.  In North America, the alligator is the largest living reptile.  Unlike crocodiles that have a narrow jaw and 4th position upper jaw tooth that hangs over the lower jaw when closed, alligators have a broader skull and their 4th upper tooth fits into a socket in the lower jaw, and is concealed when the jaw is shut.  Alligators inhabit fresh and brackish marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers, swamps, bayous, and large spring runs.  Their diet mainly consists of fish, birds, small mammal, turtles, snakes, frogs and invertebrates.  After emerging from hibernation in April, they mate from that time up until May.  The female builds her nest in June.  Hatchlings will remain with the mother for as long as 3 years from birth.  

RARE ORIGINAL TEETH STILL PRESENT - MUCH LESS COMMON THAN PLEISTOCENE SPECIMENS!

2.85" in length

SOLD     MV27-001     INCLUDES LARGE DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE ALLIGATOR FOSSILS FOR SALE

 

 

225