Rare Nimravid Incomparable Mounted Skeleton
White River Badlands, Upper Brule Formation, Northeast Shannon County, South Dakota
Millions of years before members of the cat family evolved into saber-tooths, a group of now-extinct, primitive carnivores occupied the same niche. Often referred to as false saber-toothed cats, these were the Nimravids. Extremely rare in the fossil record, no Pogonodon platycopis remains have been discovered that are comparable in quality to the present specimen.
A virtually complete individual, fully articulated and mounted, this is the finest specimen from one individual discovered to date. Its beautiful preservation is seen in the lack of distortion of the bones and the fine texture of the bones, which display very little erosion. 70-80% complete by bone count, the specimen is articulated in an animated predatory pose. Pogonodon platycopis has not been formally described in the paleontological literature, which provides desirable research opportunities. The armature is designed for easy dismantling to provide for study and examination of each individual bone.
The spectacular 10-inch-long skull, displaying its stunning dentition, is one of the most complete examples known for this species. The teeth are remarkably well preserved and unworn, suggesting that the individual died in its prime. The formidable upper canines are original, measuring approximately 3 1/2 inches along the outer curve. An interesting pathology is seen in the middle left lower jaw, just below the carnassial. As evidence of healing is displayed, it is apparent that the individual sustained an injury during its life.
In life, Pogonodon platycopis would have approximated the size and weight of a modern jaguar or African lioness. The powerfully constructed forelimbs likely aided this carnivore in hunting animals that greatly exceeded their own weight. The shortened cranium accommodated the formidable upper canines, which were used for stabbing and bleeding its prey. Stalking and ambush were likely its predatory strategy.
Measures 7 feet in length.