A fossil displaying the remains of an amphibian that died choking on its prey could make $150,000-250,000 at Heritage Auctions' Nature & Science auction on October 19-20 in Dallas.
The fossil dates to the Permian period, around 259m-251m years ago. The amphibian has been identified as a juvenile Sclerocephalus haeuseri - a carnivorous amphibian approximately 28 inches in length.
Fossils featuring animals choking on prey are referred to as aspirations. At present this example is the only known aspiration featuring a Sclerocephalus haeuseri.
Jim Walker, director of nature & science at Heritage, commented, "This is definitely a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-seen-again discovery. The site is closed, which makes this truly a museum piece.
"Not only is this one of the few fossil examples of this species, this is the only one known with an aspiration. All of these factors combined make this especially rare and desirable."
An Icthyosaur is also featured with an estimate of $20,000-40,000, while a 30m-40m year old fossil horse skull could make $15,000-20,000. It was found in the Badlands of South Dakota, and is extremely well preserved.
A selection of meteorites are offered, including a Gibson meteorite with a naturally formed hole that fell to earth 1000 years ago. It was found by tribesmen in the Kalahari desert in 1992 and weighs over 53 pounds. An unusually large specimen, it could bring $50,000-65,000.
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