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CliftonB

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Any idea what this might be? Or even what body part (skull?) We found this hiking in Badlands National Park in western South Dakota. We were hiking through bluffs made of Oligocene sediments that were rich in mammal fossils. Unfortunately no scale in the photo, but it was about 12 cm long and 10 cm wide.

BadlandsFossilSmall.JPG

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Collecting in a national park requires permits to be legal. 

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Tidgy's Dad

Hello, Clifton, and a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco! :)

Can't help with your id, but others will be along shortly who have knowledge of the area and formations. 

Thanks for taking the time to photograph the specimen and post it here. 

 

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12 minutes ago, CliftonB said:

That's why it's still there.

Good to hear. :D

We sort of have a responsibility to inform the public about things like that. 

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Fossildude19
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hemipristis
36 minutes ago, CliftonB said:

That's why it's still there.

lol

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hemipristis
3 hours ago, CliftonB said:

Any idea what this might be? Or even what body part (skull?) We found this hiking in Badlands National Park in western South Dakota. We were hiking through bluffs made of Oligocene sediments that were rich in mammal fossils. Unfortunately no scale in the photo, but it was about 12 cm long and 10 cm wide.

BadlandsFossilSmall.JPG

skull I believe, with the bottom facing up.  Absolutely no idea what kind of critter,  Mesohippus?

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It's certainly the bottom of a skull (the rear section). The two round bulges at the back are the Tympanic Bullas (housing the mammal ear bones). Based on thier size on this specimen, my guess is that it could be from a Hesperocyon but you'd need the see the other side of it to be sure.

 

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35 minutes ago, PalaeoArt said:

It's certainly the bottom of a skull (the rear section). The two round bulges at the back are the Tympanic Bullas (housing the mammal ear bones). Based on thier size on this specimen, my guess is that it could be from a Hesperocyon but you'd need the see the other side of it to be sure.

 

Much appreciated. My cousin found it, and I will check to see if he took photos of the other side.

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On 6/21/2019 at 3:16 PM, PalaeoArt said:

It's certainly the bottom of a skull (the rear section). The two round bulges at the back are the Tympanic Bullas (housing the mammal ear bones). Based on thier size on this specimen, my guess is that it could be from a Hesperocyon but you'd need the see the other side of it to be sure.

 

I agree, butit is way too big tobe hesperocyon.  Merycoidodon (oreodont) or Mesohippeus are good guesses.  

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Broken Oreodont skull sitting upside down can’t tell the type from just this view though.

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