Sherman

 

Ankylosaurus

An Amazing, mummified dinosaur

This report describes a unique offering: an exceptionally well-preserved, huge, armored dinosaur skeleton named Sherman. This virtually complete, mostly articulated skeleton belongs to an ankylosaur—a heavily armored dinosaur with a large, club-like structure at the end of its tail. This 80-million-year-old fossil features intact bony armor and preserved soft tissue. The skeleton represents one of the largest specimens known, belonging to an individual measuring approximately 23 ft. (7 m) long, with a 99% completeness estimate of the skull and skeleton.

The state of preservation of this skeleton is remarkable, in that it shows no postmortem erosion damage of the bones, as is common in most fossils. In addition, the bone surface is beautifully preserved, showing fine detail, which greatly enhances its aesthetic appeal and display quality. The “mummified” skeleton is currently kept “as found” in its matrix encasing to maintain its paleontological integrity. It is unmatched in completeness and quality, and highly rated in scientific importance. Numerous research opportunities are inherit in this specimen, adding to its prestigious status.

No comparable specimens exist in museum or private collections. Current ankylosaur specimens exhibited on display in museums are incomplete and pale in comparison, as they lack any “mummified” tissue. This rare specimen would make for an exciting and valuable visitor attraction.

Nearly the entire upper body of the dinosaur is covered with armor, including massive horns, sharp spikes, bony knobs, and oval plates. The bony knobs and plates are known as osteoderms and were covered with skin, similar to those of modern crocodiles. Along with its armored plating, ankylosaurs had two rows of spikes along their body. Another characteristic feature of the ankylosaur is its clubbed tail, which was used as a weapon: reinforced tendons connecting the vertebrae to the club enhanced support and added formidable power (see close-up photos).

Sherman-Anklyosaurus-Osteograph-map

Systematics

Order Ornithischia
Suborder Ankylosauria
Family Ankylosauridae
Subfamily Ankylosaurinae
Genus and species Euoplocephalus /Ankylosaurus species

The new information provided in the current ankylosaur specimen (Sherman) will allow broader comparisons to be made with other members of the ankylosaurinae, thus testing the validity of the named species in a taxonomic review. Also, the new morphology contained in this ankylosaur will increase the database for a systematic study—possibly allowing examination of the sexual dimorphism, ontogeny, and individual variation in ankylosaurinae.

Comparison with details of the horns and skull armor suggest that the present specimen is referable to a new species of Euoplocephalus, according to Drs. Mark Loewen and James Kirkland.

Locality

Discovered near the town of Havre in north-central Montana in 2014, Theropoda Expeditions, Inc., excavated and preserved the skeleton using the best current paleontological standards.

anklyosarus-silhouette

Geology

The ankylosaur skeleton was preserved above a river channel deposit in the Judith River Formation. Nearly the entire specimen was found in a belly-up position, resting in a giant concretion comprised of ultra-fine silt/sandstone (siderite). (Notably, a large variety of well-preserved plant fossils also lie within the same concretion.) The belly-up position suggests that the animal was floating in water long enough for the postmortem internal gas buildup to cause the carcass to roll into that position before burial.

Age

The Judith River Formation was of the upper Cretaceous epoch—between 75 and 80 million years ago, or the “Judithian” land vertebrate age.

Quarry Map

Sherman was discovered together with a large theropod, Gorgosaurus libratus (LC01), in the same concretion. So as not to disturb the preservation of soft tissue, the specimen was removed in two main blocks: one containing the tail alone, and another holding the rest of the specimen. The larger block weighed 42,000 lb. (19,051 kg).

Osteograph

The osteograph shows what’s been exposed by current preparation (see close up photos). The estimated completeness of the specimen is 99%.

Description

The specimen’s axial skeleton is nearly fully articulated and covered with most of its fossilized skin. The skeleton’s armored underside is exposed; the topside is kept in situ to allow for further study.

Exposed and Visible:

  • Intact caudal series, including the club
  • Complete sacral and dorsal vertebrae
  • Left and right ilium (left has shifted about 2 ft.)
  • Five dorsal ribs (disarticulated)
  • Skull (slightly shifted from the skeleton)
  • Right dentary
  • Atlas and two cervical vertebrae (disarticulated)
  • Numerous osteoderms in varying sizes

Measurements

Based on the lab measurements, Sherman will have a total length of approximately 23 ft (277 in. / 703.58 cm).

sherman-anklyosaurus-specimenreport

Purchasing Terms

This fossil is available exclusively through Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd. in association with Theropoda Expeditions, Inc. For further information please contact Henry Galiano (henry@maxillaandmandible.com) or Chris Morrow (ckpreparations@yahoo.com).

To view more of Chris Morrow’s report and photos, visit: theropodaexp.com/te072.html

The complete offering includes documentation with photographs, maps, and field notes, which are available for inspection upon request. In addition to this data, letters and legal documents attesting to the ownership of the property and the fossils are provided in the complete offering.

The specimen is ready for immediate delivery.

To keep the specimen available for scientific research, this offer is limited to public museums or institutions.

Price available upon request.

Download the pdf here.

For information about acquiring this specimen, please complete this form or contact us directly. Serious inquires only.

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