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This one really has me stumped.  Picked it up a couple of weeks ago on a Peace River hunt.  I have searched mammal bone, fossil ear bone and other variations on search criteria and can't come up with anything that looks similar. Maybe because it is just a partial of something that is not a common find in the river?  If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. The specimen is just over 1" square with several holes/channels.  Thanks for any help.





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Harry Pristis

Looks to me like a land mammal periotic.  But, identifying it may require you to take it to the FSM in G'ville.  Each periotic looks somewhat different depending on how much skull is attached.  It recently occurred to me to demonstrate the fenestrae in these bones by threading something through them -- in this case a plastic straw, but a pipe cleaner from the hobby store might work better.







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Thanks Harry!  Really appreciate the response.  Next opportunity I have I will stop by and see Dr Hulbert.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was planning on going to UF this week to ask Dr Hulbert to give an opinion on the periotic.  My wife enjoys photographing the butterflies in the museum and I have dropped her off there in the past while I visited Dr Hulbert at the Paleontology Dept.  With all the issues around the corona virus that trip has been put on hold.  However, fossil hunting trips to the Peace River continue.  This has led to the discovery of two more periotics to take to UF when the opportunity arises.  I guess the closing of the museum and UF campus have saved me making multiple trips.  Now I will have three periotics to show Dr Hulbert when things return to normal.  A photo of the two new finds is below:





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  • 10 months later...

@Shellseeker Jack, I was revisiting some old finds looking to finally ID them and found some older posts of yours that allowed me to ID the ear bones I posted on March 22, 2020 as Equus (numbered 1 & 2 above). As far as the first one on this thread @Harry Pristis was able to point me to a land mammal periotic.  On the thread you posted on April 21 2018 concerning your find of a mastodon ear bone you included a picture from @PrehistoricFlorida of what was posted for sale as a mastodon ear bone..  I believe it looks extremely similar to the partial ear bone I started this thread with.  I am interested in what you think of the possibility of the one I found being mastodon.



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1 hour ago, PODIGGER said:

I am interested in what you think of the possibility of the one I found being mastodon.

Here is mine, a little over 3 inches across


and here is prehistoric florida's at 2 inches.


and your find at one inch across;




I think all 3 are from Mastodon.... What does that imply about the size/age of the animal that donated your find.  Nice !!!!!

Possibly our friend with connections @digit might find some similar in the online Collections database or laying around in the Montbrook section of the Warehouse.


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Thanks Jack!  I think your right and am eager to see if any others are in the state's collections.

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Jack,  Here's another periotic I haven't been able to ID.  Hoping you may have an idea on what this one is.







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You need to understand that we are blazing new trail here. Almost No one pays any attention to the fossilized ear bone of land mammals.  There is some effort being taken on understanding the periotics of marine mammals, but from what I see, not land mammals.

So, I know and recognize the earbones of horse (both Equus and Tridactyl),  Mammoth/Mastodon, and Llama.  That is about it.  I am not sure I can find it, but I did find a periotic about the size of your new one,  but as I recall, it was different.


Think about what we find relatively frequently that is smaller than Mammoth, Mastodon, Equus, Bison, Llama, cow... what is left that that should have earbones about this size...

Some possibilities would be predators,  bears, cats, canids, and then tapir, ... maybe you could come up with more possibilities. 


A lot of speculation, few facts....

7 or 8 years ago , I talked to Richard Hulbert about land mammal earbones.  He was able to help with Proboscideans and horse...


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Thanks Jack.  I appreciate the info and your efforts.  I'll keep searching and trying to narrow it down.  Repeated searches led me to your older threads that ID'd three out of four I had on hand. 

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