Impeccably Preserved Jurassic Crocodile - Steneosaurus bollensis
This 13.45' (4.1 meter) crocodile skeleton is a breathtaking find from the Holzmaden Shale in Southwest Germany, a locality renowned for its exceptionally preserved fossil specimens. In addition to its jaw-dropping size, it boasts perfect articulation of bones and scutes, as well as many features that are rarely found preserved, including tracheal rings, skin impressions and jaws lined with complete rows of sharp teeth.
This marine predator once inhabited warm Jurassic seas that teemed with a variety of ammonites, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, crinoids (sea lilies) and many fish species. It predates Tyrannosaurus rex by over 100 million years.
Steneosaurus closely resembles living crocodilians called gharials, which are native to India. Like the long-snouted gharial, it is thought to have been a fish-eater. Surprisingly, however, this extinct group is not directly related to the modern species.
Considerable time and skill was needed to reveal this specimen from the surrounding matrix - meticulous, specialized work using the latest techniques and equipment. The preparation was carried out to the most exacting of standards, bringing to life every detail while preserving the integrity of the fossil.
Note that we have included pictures of the specimen in various lighting conditions.
- Species: Steneosaurus bollensis
- Formation: Posidonia Shale
- Location: Holzmaden, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
- Age: Lower Jurassic (Toarcian), 174 to 182 million years old
- Shale layer: Epsilon II 6 (Schieferklotz)
- Specimen measures approximately 4.1 meters / 13.45 feet (following curvature of vertebrae).
- Shale slab measures 3.85 x 1.85 meters / 12.63 x 6.0 feet
- Weighs approximately 600 kg / 1322 lbs.
- Preparation notes: restoration on last 20 cm of tail
- Includes custom steel frame and hanging moulds for wall-hanging
We expect this specimen to arrive in our Toronto Area facility in March 2019.
Artist's reconstruction of Steneosaurus Credit: Nobu Tamura