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ABOVE / BELOW PHOTO SHOWS ORIGINAL MANDIBLE FOUND WITH THE SKULL IN PLACE AND CORRECTLY ARTICULATED TO THE SKULL

ULTRA RARE PLEISTOCENE FOSSIL GIANT ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE SKULL WITH ORIGINAL LOWER JAW

Suwannee River - Florida, U.S.A.

PLEISTOCENE PERIOD:  1.8 million years ago

The T. rex of freshwater turtles, the Alligator Snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii, unique to southeastern North America, lived in prehistory during the final Ice Age and beyond, surviving extinction at the end of the Pleistocene Period.  Fossils of this terrifying looking giant freshwater turtle can be found but they are almost always isolated fragments.  Complete or near complete prehistoric fossil skulls of Macroclemys temminckii are EXTREMELY RARE and the discovery of such is a very rare lifetime achievement for a fossil hunter.  Of special note to museums and highly advanced private collectors, we offer a VERY unusual and rare specimen of a nearly complete skull WITH ITS ORIGINAL LOWER JAW of a giant prehistoric Alligator Snapping turtle for consideration.  Being a Florida-based supplier and seeing a good array of rare vertebrate North American fossils first-hand, even to us, this is an astonishing discovery and this specimen can best be summed up as FAR BEYOND the rarity of most fossil reptile skulls. 

This has certainly got to be one of the meanest and most intimidating-looking turtles that has ever lived with its heavy body ornamentation and elaborate armoring of its shell.  Even today, the bizarre species is protected by several national and international laws so securing even a modern skull is very difficult but the discovery and acquisition of a complete skull with its original lower jaw of a PREHISTORIC FOSSIL Alligator Snapping Turtle, this is truly a VERY RARE ACQUISITION.  Since this is a FOSSIL skull from a prehistoric Alligator Snapping turtle, not modern remains, it can be legally shipped anywhere in the world and is not regulated by any bans on modern specimens.

Secured from the original diver who found this extraordinary discovery embedded in a Pleistocene fossil peat bed deposit in the Suwannee River many years ago, this specimen resided in his personal collection since that time until now.  It is so rare to be found in this condition and state of completeness with the original lower jaw that any and all attempts to restore the small back portion of the skull was declined so that THIS SKULL CAN BOAST OF NOT HAVING A SINGLE BIT OF RESTORATION OR FABRICATION DONE TO IT.  Only work done was very minor repair to a couple of fractures and the treatment of consolidant to the bone to increase its durability for handling.  Clearly, this turtle was the T. rex of the freshwater shallows of southeastern North America's final Ice Age.  The anatomy of this impeccably preserved specimen is one of a very capable and LARGE amphibious predator!  Bone detail and very fragile anatomy is intact in otherwise never seen degrees of completeness.  There would have been a back portion of the skull process that if present, would have made this skull easily a 10+ inch long monster!  Of the very limited number of complete FOSSIL Snapping turtle skulls that are known, even fewer are from the Alligator Snapping turtle since its range in life was less than the regular Snapping turtle's domain range.  A fossil skull such as this is every bit as rare if not rarer than as a dinosaur skull even though the price does not reflect that rarity.  Of ANY turtle fossil, it would be very hard to find a more visually impressive and intimidating specimen as this with its sinister appearance and exceptionally large proportions.  Today, museums strive to showcase pieces that are not only rare, but are also exciting and impressive for the public to see.  This specimen is BOTH - EXTREMELY RARE AND EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE TO SEE!

As a spectacular candidate for a public exhibition on prehistoric reptiles OTHER THAN DINOSAURS, this would be a MUST HAVE specimen.  A true natural history prize acquisition that has NO RESTORATION OR FABRICATION and is WITH THE ORIGINAL MANDIBLE FOUND WITH THE SKULL.

Macroclemys temminckii, or Alligator Snapping turtle is a species of the Macroclemys genus.  The genus includes three species: the extant Macroclemys temminckii, the extinct Macroclemys schmidti and the extinct Macroclemys auffenbergiM. schmidti is described from the early middle Miocene of Nebraska and M. auffenbergi from the middle Pliocene of Florida.  This species dates back to prehistory but has survived the end of North America's last Ice Age.  Today, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is found only in North America, predominantly in the warm southeastern states. 

The Alligator Snapping turtle can grow to large proportions with average full-grown weights around 175 pounds and a shell 26 inches long.  Weight have been recorded at over 200 pounds.  It is the largest freshwater turtle living in North America today.  Their shell is made up of a series of pointed, heavy plates giving them the appearance of an armored dinosaur.  These turtles are carnivores and scavengers, eating almost anything that comes their way.  Unique only to the Alligator Snapping Turtle, their mouths are camouflaged inside and they employ a worm-like appendage that is used like a lure to attract small animals like fish, near their jaws where upon the turtle can bite down with extreme speed and force for a quick kill.  The Alligator Snapping turtle has a very powerful set of jaws and one can easily and quickly lose a finger in careless handling of this primitive creature.

MOST IMPRESSIVE, RARE AND VICIOUS GIANT FOSSIL TURTLE SKULLS WE HAVE EVER SEEN FROM THE T. REX OF TURTLES!!!

7" in length (over 10" long with back process) x 7" wide overall

SOLD     TUR001     Actual Item - One Only

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