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Identification of a tooth from a cave


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Hi,

 

Even in this hard times of corona virus outbreak I couldn't resist the urge to visit again a cave that I found a few weeks ago, but couldn't explore it fully. So I went again and this last time I went in the cave I found a great number of bones scattered around the cave. I think they are probably modern, but it is weird because the cave isn't very easily accessible for animals since it has a few big drops. I found this tooth in a small ,,room,, which was barely big enough to squeeze in to. In that same place there were a small broken skull and many bones, but this is just one of the many places with such bones. At first I even thought that some explorers ate a chicken or something like that in there, but the bones are just too many and THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHICKEN SLAUGHTER FEST.

I would be glad to hear your opinions on what creature is this toot from and if it is modern or ancient. The color I guess would suggest modern but i am no expert on how are bones preserved in caves and sadly I have no information on the age of the cave. 

 

I hope you are all fine and the virus never gets to you!

D7K_1769.JPG

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Thanks for the suggestions.

But from the the pictures of cave lion canines that I found, to me it seems that their crown part is bigger than in mine where the root is a third of the whole thing.

About the bear, I think it looks a bit more like mine but maybe it's thicker. It also has a curve in the lower part of the root that mine doesn't . Than again I guess teeth can vary.

 

Here are some cave bear teeth that look somewhat similar.

cavebearteeth.jpg

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I was thinking bear as well, although I'm no expert on the matter.

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I’m in the bear camp as well. Here are some photos of a modern American Black Bear canine that I have, I think it looks extremely similar to your specimen.

D6CB9B7B-5F28-4BB2-9C7B-E23E7323C1C3.jpeg

1F263FBA-A135-41E2-8668-F10C286E11DC.jpeg

54105F20-1B5E-4F6B-946D-70D8BAE34E7A.jpeg

0D5B1FDE-52D7-40B1-B0B1-77D7CC76EE40.jpeg

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Yes I think I'm also on the bear team now. Looking at cave and modern bear teeth I definitely see similarities. And about the age of the find... I guess it's somewhat old??, since it sounds pretty strange that a small mammal has brought this big tooth in the cave ( and the cave isn't in some too wild part of the world, it's actually pretty close to a small city and I don't think there are any bears in that region from quite some time now), although it is also strange that it's just a single tooth sitting there in the dark, not even burrowed. If you also have any theories  on that, please comment.

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1 hour ago, Yan11 said:

Yes I think I'm also on the bear team now. Looking at cave and modern bear teeth I definitely see similarities. And about the age of the find... I guess it's somewhat old??, since it sounds pretty strange that a small mammal has brought this big tooth in the cave ( and the cave isn't in some too wild part of the world, it's actually pretty close to a small city and I don't think there are any bears in that region from quite some time now), although it is also strange that it's just a single tooth sitting there in the dark, not even burrowed. If you also have any theories  on that, please comment.

A number of factors can control how the tooth was found. Remember if it's fossilized it's had thousands of years to be moved and sifted around in that cave. Weathering can expose and move fossils, and animals could have diggen it up and moved it. Basically any multitude of things could account for how you found it, Megalodon teeth are not uncommonly found on the sides of dirt roads in Florida as a result of weathering and the change of the ocean over millions of years.

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2 hours ago, Yan11 said:

Yes I think I'm also on the bear team now. Looking at cave and modern bear teeth I definitely see similarities. And about the age of the find... I guess it's somewhat old??, since it sounds pretty strange that a small mammal has brought this big tooth in the cave ( and the cave isn't in some too wild part of the world, it's actually pretty close to a small city and I don't think there are any bears in that region from quite some time now), although it is also strange that it's just a single tooth sitting there in the dark, not even burrowed. If you also have any theories  on that, please comment.

I don’t see any reason to think that your tooth has been fossilized. The color certainly seems to indicate modernity but I’m no expert on taphonomy. 
 

Black bears are extremely frequent around suburban settlements, increasingly so in fact. These animals are also known to frequently raid chicken coops, my aunt recently had her entire chicken coop killed by a single bear in one night. Maybe this could explain the frequency of chicken bones that you had talked about?

 

Im not saying this is the answer, but I am saying that you can’t rule it out. Dens can be used for multiple generations by numerous individuals, maybe your tooth is “old” in terms of decades and other activity has transpired since.

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11 hours ago, Spoons said:

I don’t see any reason to think that your tooth has been fossilized. The color certainly seems to indicate modernity but I’m no expert on taphonomy. 
 

Black bears are extremely frequent around suburban settlements, increasingly so in fact. These animals are also known to frequently raid chicken coops, my aunt recently had her entire chicken coop killed by a single bear in one night. Maybe this could explain the frequency of chicken bones that you had talked about?

 

Im not saying this is the answer, but I am saying that you can’t rule it out. Dens can be used for multiple generations by numerous individuals, maybe your tooth is “old” in terms of decades and other activity has transpired since.

I forgot to mention that I'm from Bulgaria and here brown bears are exclusive to the most remote parts of the forests and also the populations are mainly in the south west part of the country and the middle, whereas the cave is in the north west part of the country. Saying that, the landscape and fauna were very different  50 years ago, probably even more so before 100. So yes I guess it definitely can be from a bear that that died around 100 years ago. Then again I really don't know what happens to animal remains in caves and I can't seem to find any information about it.(If anyone knows a webpage or a book where I can find more information on that, please share it)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just so you all know, I spoke with a paleontologist from my area and she told me that it was the lower canine of a most probably modern brown bear.

 

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Yan11 said:

Just so you all know, I spoke with a paleontologist from my area and she told me that it was the lower canine of a most probably modern brown bear.

 

Cheers!

Great! I’m glad you’ve solved your mystery. I was so admit it was black bear, should’ve checked your region first. :DOH:

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