La Brea Tar Pits Dire Wolf Skull
Species: Dire Wolf, Canis Dirus
Geological Timeframe: Pleistocene 2MYA - 10,000
Location: La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, California
This is an authentic, highly original La Brea Tar Pits Dire Wolf Skull measuring 12.5". The skulls is accompanied with "tar pit ooze" containing an assemblage of Dire Wolf bones. A truly wonderful example of an ancient wolf species made famous by lore and fantasy. Since the government took over the Tar Pits no more of the specimens collected are for private hands.
About the Piece:
It is estimated to be 90% original only having restore at a thin section at the middle of the skull, a part of the back above the condyle area, and a little on the back of the lower jaws. The condyles are authentic and intact. Even the zygomatic arches are original on this animal. The teeth are all real with all but 3 upper incisors coming from this animal. Those 3 came from other La Brea Dire Wolves that were in pieces. It was extremely challenging to prep this piece because normal air compression work would have changed its beautiful dark brown color. This is the original color from an area with a high concentration of oil, as some are lighter. It took a top prepper almost a year to complete because of the meticulous work required. The assemblage of bones in the tar pit ooze is original with toe bones, vertebrae, and other full and partial bones that were part of the unprepped animal. Whole La Brea Dire Wolf skulls are extremely hard to come by and mostly held tightly in private collections which are rarely sold. I'm so pleased to have this in the collection and for sale here.
Why We Love It: The Dire Wolf lies right on the edge of reality and fantasy for a lot of people. A prehistoric mammal so closely related to the common gray wolf yet idealized in fantasy worlds and television. In fact the Dire Wolf was real and only became extinct as little as 10,000 years ago making this skull a relatively young fossil. A Dire Wolf skull in this good condition with the full skull and visible teeth coming from the infamous La Bra tar pits is incredibly rare and quite sought after in the world of fossil collectors. Not only is this Dire Wolf fossil in great condition but it is also already expertly mounted on a stand saying you on mounting costs.
Species Description: Dire Wolves had many features akin to the modern day Gray Wolf but they are not a direct ancestor of any species alive today. This species became extinct 10,000 years ago. They were larger than a Gray Wolf averaging 5 feet in length and weighing 150-175 lbs. The legs of the Dire Wolf were shorter and sturdier than those of the Gray Wolf and the brain case was smaller as well. Dire Wolves were only ever found in California and Florida and never existed in other countries.