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Shellseeker

White Whale, probably not Moby

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Shellseeker

I have a fossil hunting friend, who keeps very little of what he finds. Anything that has serious issues goes back to the fossil gods or into the bone garden at home. To make it into his collection, it must be exceptionally good. I am not like that... I keep almost everything... to analyze and toss later maybe, but initially keep it. He keeps very few fossils, which has its advantages.

We sort of have a deal... anything he does not want (in certain categories) he saves for me.. I do what I can to repay the kindness. One of those categories is whale: He gave me this one last week

White_WhaleKogiopsis.JPG.f6475b3464788bb61bce94ffabc63ad4.JPG

 

It is a 4.25 inch Florida whale tooth, likely Kogiopsis. My question  relates to the composition. The species seems to have no enamel, so originally this was dentine, surrounded by cementum. It is a land find from a construction site in Florida. I have similar teeth with this composition from the Bone Valley phosphate mines.

To show a different Kogiopsis tooth, found in the Peace River, with a different composition: It is what I call "hard" composition...

IMG_4646.thumb.jpg.f59d660b6c03619ff32954dd3d6b1fcc.jpg

 

So the questions:

1) Is this composition unique to Florida? Do other TFF members who find whole/broken whale teeth (or any other fossil) have this type of composition in their fossil collections?

2) What is the composition and the process that creates it?

 

Thanks, Just driven by curiosity.   Jack

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Familyroadtrip

Wow, I don’t know the answers to your questions, but that is so cool! What does he have in his collection if he didn’t even keep that!?!

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Shellseeker
52 minutes ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Wow, I don’t know the answers to your questions, but that is so cool! What does he have in his collection if he didn’t even keep that!?!

At the 12 minute mark, this hunter shows 5 whale teeth. I think my friend would keep most of these. I know a few hunters who just keep the best and return the rest. It is sort of a fishing catch and release type of thought. I am not sure I understand, but I kind of respect it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUu8oXvaXLc

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Familyroadtrip

I’d keep everything I found, like what if you get a bone with predation marks on it, and just toss it or a pathological tooth you don’t see? I like to take them home to check, but the not as good ones I just put them in storage, I haven’t figured out what to do with the small ones I have right now, there’s a cool display idea I have but I don’t have the right kind of display case or amount of display worthy fossils.

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Shellseeker
2 hours ago, Boesse said:

Phosphatization is associated with low or zero net sedimentation and high primary productivity. For more on phosphatization and marine vertebrate fossils, here's some resources:

 

Thanks Bobby, Florida's phosphate mines (plus a very few land mammal phosphatized teeth) but had not seen any similar phosphate like examples posted by other TFF forum members. Your references will take me time to read but I'll become familiar with phosphatized fossils from outside Florida.

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RescueMJ

I keep them all, sort, then recycle to my middle school students.  I found a 10 inch long matrix with a 4 inch dia. vert contained.  In the matrix I found  cool 5mm shark tooth.IMG_7764.thumb.jpg.1e8b761d26f538d5da8bbd7c609b7fcc.jpgIMG_7762.thumb.jpg.df84c126f83d0a3f7f4067af5db3048c.jpgtooth.thumb.jpg.ceec9ceac55e80a914269ee3f1a2e9d2.jpg

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siteseer
On 7/28/2020 at 12:45 PM, Shellseeker said:

 

Thanks Bobby, Florida's phosphate mines (plus a very few land mammal phosphatized teeth) but had not seen any similar phosphate like examples posted by other TFF forum members. Your references will take me time to read but I'll become familiar with phosphatized fossils from outside Florida.

 

Hi Jack,

 

I have a large whale tooth like that first one from the Lee Creek Mine - also a phosphate mine.  And yes, some whale teeth do not have any enamel.  Some of the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed whales did not have enamel on their teeth either so it's not just an artifact of preservation.  Some modern whales don't have enamel.  I think it's part of the overall long-term trend in some groups losing teeth as they become reduced in form.

 

Jess

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Shellseeker
1 hour ago, siteseer said:

 

Hi Jack,

 

I have a large whale tooth like that first one from the Lee Creek Mine - also a phosphate mine.  And yes, some whale teeth do not have any enamel.  Some of the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed whales did not have enamel on their teeth either so it's not just an artifact of preservation.  Some modern whales don't have enamel.  I think it's part of the overall long-term trend in some groups losing teeth as they become reduced in form.

 

Jess

Thanks for the response, Jess

Here are a few teeth from phosphate mines in Bone Valley. This 1st one is not a repro of the previous photos. The "tip" might have had an enamel cap (Scaldicetus). However, Enamel Cap, Dentine, and Cementum have all been "melded"  into a single substance by fossilization inside a phosphate mine.  The tooth above was a land find just below Tampa, but has similar "melding".

 

WhiteWhaleMrg.thumb.jpg.20d03dd8351d48c91fb74f86a402baf6.jpg

Here are a couple of more whale teeth from the Phosphate mines. The one on the bottom is Scaldicetus with an enamel tip,  No enamel on the top Kogiopsis, but note the different fossilization effect  on the Dentine versus the cementum.  I am wondering whether these white teeth laid in the phosphate layer or possibly are myas older than other mine teeth.

Thanks for letting me that you see examples from Lee Creek also. What I can not get the facts, I love to speculate.    Jack

IMG_0895.jpg.bc4fa898b3b8a9be91a05b2afc0651a3.jpg

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siteseer

Hi Jack,

 

When I started collecting in Bakersfield, I would find a couple of whale teeth with no enamel and I thought they wore to that form.  I'd see them in others' collections or in museums and I started to suspect that that was all you can find of some whale teeth.  They might be worn but they didn't have enamel to start with.  It was a weird concept to get used to.  Some of the teeth from Lee Creek or Bone Valley actually look broken but they might just have rather moderate wear

Jess

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Boesse

There are plenty of sperm whales that completely lack enamel, and some with small enamel caps that are rapidly worn away during later growth. It can be difficult to tell whether or not a worn down tooth was from a sperm whale that possessed enamel at some point or never. This makes identifying isolated sperm whale teeth a bit of a fool's errand.

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