This is an extremely rare, COMPLETE and PERFECTLY PRESERVED front portion of the skull of an extinct Aurochs (Bos primigenius / taurus). On VERY RARE occasions when a European Aurochs fossil skull is found, it is almost always just the horns and skull cap. The fragile front nose and maxilla of the skull is destroyed and missing in nearly EVERY instance!. The sheer scarcity of fossil Aurochs skulls, is a mystery. They have been found in much, much lesser numbers in Europe than fossil Wisent (Bison) have. In all our travels in Europe and visits to private collections and all the major Ice Age museums there, you could count on one hand the number of well-preserved and complete fossil Aurochs skulls we have seen compared to the more numerous Wisent skulls. If you are lucky enough to have a partial Aurochs skull, it is highly likely the anatomy of the specimen offered here, is missing. This would make a "holy grail" piece to have to restore a high-grade Aurochs skull to completion!
This prize specimen has a FULL dentition on both sides of all molars and pre-molars. The rare pre-maxilla bones perfect (RARELY seen intact). This is a rare fossil showing seldom seen anatomy of the skull. It would make an incredible reference specimen as is, to identify wisent fossils from aurochs.
As of this listing, we have also listed a nearly identical specimen but from an Steppe Bison (Wisent) here, an extinct Ice Age animal from Europe. That specimen AND this specimen would be a perfect reference specimen set to identify the differences of Aurochs and Bison (Wisent) fossils as they are very similar but having identical anatomy specimens of both animals would provide and INVALUABLE reference resource of authentic specimens for comparison, display and education.
Fossils like this are a thing of the past. Today, the dredges operate completely differently than in earlier times when this skull was found. Today's modern dredges pulverize the gravel, subsequently destroying the fossils BEFORE they are brought up to the surface to be seen! This fossil is in remarkable condition considering the fragile anatomy that survived both the last Ice Age, AND the river dredge that retrieved it.
A perfect fossil to display alongside Early Man artifacts as these animals were both hunted and worshipped by prehistoric humans. It is no wonder this beast was featured on innumerable prehistoric cave paintings found in Europe. Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons alike, must have worshipped and revered this animal, as much as they respected the danger it represented in a challenging hunt. A rare fossil from a beast that is seldom found in Late Pleistocene fossil collections.