Rare Fossilized Sabertooth Hoplophoneus Skull:
North America, Custer County, South Dakota, Late Eocene to Early Oligocene Period, ca. 35 million to 29 million years ago. A fossilized skull from the long-legged Hoplophoneus, a false saber-tooth cat, in the Nimravid family. This skull beautifully displays the large and once-razor sharp saber teeth. Most of the lower jaw is original, which is a rare find! This species is the second earliest saber-tooth mammal that roamed prehistoric North America. These animals had a lot of physical characteristics similar to the famous Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger) including large saber canine; however, Hoplophoneus was not a true cat! These animals were 2 feet tall (0.6 meters), about the size of a large bobcat, and likely hunted in packs with close knit families as evidenced by some remains found together in death. They hunted grazing ungulates, including camelids and prehistoric oreodonts. Using their highly developed saber-teeth they would likely sever the blood supply in the neck of their prey in the initial attack, much like large cats of today! A stunning and rare fossil! Size: 7″ L x 4.5″ W (17.8 cm x 11.4 cm); 9.75″ H (24.8 cm) on included custom stand.