This is a mesosiderite meteorite, the rarest type of stony-iron meteorites.
This meteorite is classified as a petrologic class A and metamorphic grade 1. Nickel only accounts for 8.8% of this meteorite.
Found in 1861 in the Atacama Desert near Taltal, Chile and named after a dry riverbed. The name translates to “dead cow.”
The strewn field was rediscovered in 1985 and an exhaustive four-year search (between Feb. 1987 & Jan. 1991) over an area of 11 x 2 kilometers, recovered more material (over 3400 kilograms) than any other known mesosiderite.
The largest specimen found was 309 kilograms (681 pounds). A 10 meters in diameter and almost 2 meters deep has also been attributed to the Vaca Muerta meteorite. This specimen weights 37.8 grams. Radiocarbon 14 dating estimates this meteorite fell 3500 (+1300) years ago.