Triassic Vertebrates
of New Mexico III
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Bull Canyon Formation - Dockum Group
© L. Martin
The Bull Canyon Formation of San Miguel County, New Mexico, preserves a diverse and rather mysterious vertebrate
fauna. Although there many named (and famous) genera, such as
Coelophysis, much of the microfauna is undescribed.
The fragmentary nature of many of the fossils makes clear assignment very difficult and preservation is highly selective
with teeth being the dominant fossil, almost at the expense of all other skeletal remains. Regardless, the Triassic fauna
is a rare and important part of the Mesozoic as it is from a time when stem dinosaurs made an appearance and the
last of the large amphibians that had held over from the Permian disappeared.
Miscellaneous Vertebrates
Sphenodont
These are very primitive reptile jaws in which the teeth are fused to the bone of the jaw. There is
one living relative in New Zealand today. These Triassic specimens are not common and belong
to the microvertebrate fauna of the Bull Canyon.
Rhynchocephalus
Another unusual reptilian member of the Bull Canyon fauna. Each of these jaw sections preserves
part of the long tooth batteries.
Reptile Palates - £4/$6 per pair
Each measures ~3 to 5 mm
Reticulodus synergus
Nice teeth from this recently described freshwater shark with distinct crushing teeth.
Apachesaurus
Apachesaurus collection - £15/$25
This is a very good quality collection of specimens from the small amphibian Apachesaurus. Included in the collection
are a jaw section, complete vertebra, complete tooth and near complete ungual. The specimens are shown in a one
inch gem jar for scale. You can either order a set picked at random or one of those listed below:
Reticulodus complete teeth - £20/$30 per set
Two excellent quality complete teeth from this rare shark.
Included in each set is a lateral and a medial tooth. All
show the unusual patterns on the crown. Specimens are
shown in a 1 inch gem jar for scale (click on thumbnail to
enlarge) and measure ~2 to 3 mm long.
Peteinosaur Pterosaur
Preondactylus Pterosaur
Peteinosaur tooth - £12/$20 each
Measure ~5 mm
Apachesaurus teeth - £6/$10 each
Very good quality complete teeth from this medium sized amphibian. The teeth all show
excellent enamel with good tips. The teeth all show the distinct grooving typical of the
large amphibians. Each tooth measures ~5 to 7mm long and is beautifully preserved.
Apachesaurus tail - £100/$150 each
A good quality composite tail of this uncommon
amphibian. The tail consists of 15 complete
vertebrae and measures approximately 6 inches
long. A rare and excellent fossil. Any bones or
vertebrae are uncommon in the Bull Canyon as it
is teeth that dominate the fossil record. Good
preservation of all the vertebrae.
Apachesaurus toe and ungual - £40/$65
A very good quality toe and ungual from the amphibian Apachesaurus. Each
bone is complete as shown and combined measure ~10 mm long. We have only
this one set. Rare but desirable as and appendicular bones are rare in the Bull
Canyon compared to the abundant teeth
These long needle like teeth would have been used by the insectivorous pterosaurs to grab
their prey.
Preodactylus tooth - £10/$15
Measure ~5 mm
Sphenadont jaw with teeth - £3/$5 each
Each measures ~3 mm
Rhychocephalus jaw with teeth - £3/$5 each
Each measures ~5 mm
Reticulodus partial and near complete teeth.
The following collections all include partial to near complete teeth. All specimens average around 2 mm long unless
noted and show the distinct surface pitting of the crushing surface.
Reticulodus tooth collection - £3/$5 each
Crosbysaurus
Crosbysaurus is a rare species in the Bull Canyon, being much better represented in the Chinle Formation. These are
the only teeth like them we have found.
Crosbysaurus #1
£20/$35 (3 mm)
Crosbysaurus #4
£40/$65 (6 mm)
Crosbysaurus #3
£20/$35 (5 mm)
Crosbysaurus #2
£20/$35 (4 mm)
Miscellaneous Jaws - £8/$12 for 5
Each jaw measures ~2 to 3 mm
For fossil poop from the Triassic please see our coprolite page.
Additionally we have
thin sections of some Triassic coprolites showing internal structure.