Just arrived and expertly-prepped by Mike Holmes of Triassica fame, this beautifully- preserved Dromaeosaur raptor fossil skeleton is perfectly articulated and complete (not a chimera). Only the two ischia and two coracoids are not visible, and believed to be still within the matrix beneath the pelvic assembly and immediately anterior of the head of the scapulae respectively.
It measures 57cm long and comes from an old collection in the UK. Mike has performed secondary preparation in the UK on the skull, internal bones, teeth, ribs, pelvic assembly including ilium, uncovering previously hidden bones (3 hidden vertebrae, centra of several thoracic vertebrae, missing tip of one hind foot claw previously beneath matrix, right shoulder blade, end of right humerus, and right ulna/radius) from the original matrix.
There is absolutely no restoration performed, no paste, resin, or filler. The skeleton is preserved in a complex ‘sleeping’ posture (rather than the more common death pose; curled backwards likely due to the neck ligaments drying out and pulling back the vertebrae), with the pelvic assembly upside down, and the stomach twisted. Its ribs overlap one another and the pelvic bones.
Both hind feet have all digits and all four claws present. Both hind limbs are preserved and intact; femurs being in situ with the pelvic assembly.
The left forelimb is evident and complete. The right forelimb is still encased within the matrix.
At the right side of the matrix, the scapula and part of the forelimb (most likely the humerus) is exposed.
Some of the internal structure of the skull is revealed and preserved. Dendition has excellent occlusion.
Rock matrix has natural fault lines, with dendrite growth on either side of the faults as well as mineral deposits.
On 20 May 2012 a comparable Jinfengopteryx elegans raptor – which was only 65-70% complete and without a real fossil skull – sold on Heritage Auctions for $32,000 (Natural History auction, lot 49318).