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January 2020 - Finds of the Month Entries

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@Manticocerasman Kevin, your finds continue to impress :drool:

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Date of Discovery: January 7, 2020

Name: Composita subtilita with naturally exposed brachidium

Geological Age: Middle Pennsylvanian (~309 mya)

Geological Formation: Naco Formation

Location Found: Paleo Site near Kohls Ranch, Arizona, USA

Thank you to @Petalodus12 and @DPS Ammonite for helping ID the exposed brachidium. The brachidium is a spring-shaped structure that supports the lophophore, the feeding organ that uses water to carry food towards the animal’s mouth!




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Here's something a bit novel to broaden the entries for the vertebrate category for this month. ;)


Date of Discovery: 2020-01-21

Name: Giant Manta (Mobula [Manta] birostris) vestigial tooth

Geological Age: Plio/Pleistocene?

Geological Formation: Tamiami Formation?

Location Found: "Cookiecutter Creek" Florida


For the last several years I have been picking through micro-matrix collected from the small waterway in Florida known for the presence of Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius triangulus) teeth. There are several additional novel taxa found in this locality that are so rare as to make Cookiecutter teeth seem relatively abundant. The material is collected from float material in the creek bed and so the formation is presently uncertain but the interesting chondrichthyan teeth fossils seem to originate from a phosphate rich clay layer below a shelly layer which may be either Caloosahatchee Formation (2.5-1.8 Ma) or possibly Fort Thompson (140-120 Ka). The exact age is uncertain at the moment but additional investigation may soon assign a more precise date to these fossils.


There are several unusual taxa that I've found in this little creek which are presently unknown in the Florida fossil record. The vestigial teeth of the Giant Manta (a filter feeding planktivore) are tiny cylindrical teeth with bulbous roots and enamel covering only the 'chisel'  tip of the tooth. This particular specimen is just under 2.5 mm in overall length and shows very unusual coloration for fossils from this locality. The dentine base of the tooth (including the nicely preserved tri-lobed bulbous root) is a very nice tan color while the enamel cap is distinctly black due to phosphatic staining during preservation.


This is an unusual tooth from a species that is not often seen in the fossil record (and is presently unrecorded from Florida). The really nice preservation and unusual coloration motivated me to submit this item for this month's gallery of finds.






2020-01-21 19-21-17.jpg


2020-01-21 19-23-02.jpg


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