This is a exhibition-class RARE dinosaur fossil for both, its impressive display value and its extreme rarity in the species that it is from. It is a large articulated vertebral column AS FOUND all from the SAME Anatotitan dinosaur (formerly known as ANATOSAURUS) and scientifically known as Anatotitan copei. ANATOTITAN was one of the final hadrosaurids to live in the Late Cretaceous - the largest species of their spectacular dynasty. They reigned in the final days of the Cretaceous, emerging as late as 68 million years ago. This was a massive hadrosaurid dinosaur - the largest known. The name ANATOTITAN means "large duck".
While hadrosaur fossils in general, are one of the most common types of dinosaur fossils in the Hell Creek Formation, fossils from THIS DINOSAUR SPECIES of hadrosaurs ARE EXTREMELY RARE. Isolated post-cranial remains of Anatotitan are impossible to differentiate from other hadrosaurs other than their massive size, unless a skull is found with the bones. With this discovery, a skull was found along with other associated partial skeletal remains so we were able to make a positive identification of the species of hadrosaur. Again, it must be emphasized that the fossil vertebrae you see all were from the same dinosaur and in this position as found. See the field jacket photo above to show the specimen as it came out of the field before we began any work to it.
Fossils like this are seldom ever found this way but since much of the skeleton was missing, we can hypothesize that the original complete skeleton was partially washed away in a prehistoric flood or portions of it were eaten by predators such as T. rex or dromaeosaurs, leaving portions like this which might have been partly buried in prehistory preventing their complete scavenging.
An original dinosaur spinal column is a very rare fossil and rarely seen on the public market. In most cases, specimens like this are reserved for museums. This piece is a fantastic, visually impressive piece when viewed in person. There is dramatic three-dimensional relief across the entire panel as each bone protrudes out of the matrix. The panel matrix is reconstituted from the original site sand and the dark fragments and pieces you see in the sand are actual bone and mineral fragments from the Hell Creek Formation. Part of the spinal processes required extensive repair to cracks and have missing portions restored. Overall, there is only approximately 5% reconstruction of missing portions with all the cracks filled by mostly repaired from the found pieces which were still in their original positions when discovered.
This is a very rare opportunity for a museum or private collector to add a truly remarkable AND KING SPECIES OF ALL HADROSAURS dinosaur fossil partial vertebral column in matrix. The panel has a wood and steel plate backing with mounting holes so it is ready to be mounted on a wall and exhibited.
Photo below shows the position of this specimen on an Anatotitan skeleton.