USA: Skull of Saber-Toothed Cat Found in N.D.

This video is called Tribute to Nimravids (false sabre tooths) and Barbourofelids.

Associated Press reports:

DICKINSON, N.D. Nov 18, 2005 — A complete skull of a saber-toothed cat found in southwestern North Dakota over the summer is being prepared for public display next year.

“Finding a complete skull is rare and very important,” said John Hoganson, paleontologist for the North Dakota Geological Survey.

“We knew that these cats existed here and found fossils previously, but this is an absolutely perfect skull with lower jaw.”

The big cats lived in North Dakota 30 million years ago, Hoganson said.

The animal looked much like a modern-day mountain lion.

“One of the big differences is they had canine teeth really long and that hang out of their mouth,” he said.

The skull was found by volunteers Jim Daly, of Little Canada, Minn., and Cathy Clayton, of Lake Elmo, Minn., during a fossil-collecting trip sponsored by the Geological Survey and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

Brett Woodward, a Geological Survey lab specialist who was on the trip, said the skull was found at the base of a hill.

“Most of the skull was exposed on top of the ground,” he said.

Hoganson said the skull is about 6 inches long and the saber teeth are 1 1/2-2 inches.

He said it is in fairly good condition but will need some work before it can be displayed next summer at the North Dakota Heritage Center on the state Capitol grounds in Bismarck.

It is being kept in the state fossil collection at the center.

The skull was found about 12 miles southwest of Dickinson, in an area of an ancient pond.

Several landowners have agreed to preserve the “Little Badlands” area because of its importance as a fossil site, Hoganson said.

“We’ll be going back this coming year for another public dig,” he said. “It’s a real interesting place.

We’ve found the remains of champsosaurus, crocodiles, freshwater clams and snails, three different kinds of turtles and about five different kinds of fish.”

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

Saber-toothed cats: here.

Research on sabre-toothed jaws: here.

6 thoughts on “USA: Skull of Saber-Toothed Cat Found in N.D.

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