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A very interesting tooth.

As you know, the fossil layers in Florida are generally jumbled over time, leading to the frequent occurrence of finding million year old fossils, right next to fossils from 10000 years ago and even non_fossils from 100 years ago. This fact adds greatly to the difficulty of identifying any specific fossil. One of many fossil layers I hunt dates back to 12 mya. This find came from that layer.

It is a predator tooth used for shearing meat off of bone. Size is occlusal length 17.6 x width 8.3 x H 26.7 mm, putting it in the range of Canis latrans or Puma concolor. As we start, I am never sure that we will get an identification. However, we can narrow the possibilities.

What is the Genus?

What is the tooth position?  Upper/Lower, right/left, p2,P3,p4,M1,m2, etc

Note that Photo #2 wear pattern seems to lean to the side, rather then up/down.  It that pathological or normal for the species?


I appreciate any/all help in this identification....






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Can't help with the ID Jack but great find none the less!!!!! Congrats:wub::yay-smiley-1:

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1 hour ago, Familyroadtrip said:

Looks like puma concolor to me, here’s an example.


Thanks for the response: It is likely correct and It starts me off. So,

What is the Genus? Puma concolor

What is the tooth position?  lower left p4

Differences are the length at 17.6 mm instead of the 16.4 that Harry pegs below  and that Puma concolor dates back to 400000 years, not 10 million.

        Jaguar, I agree. In the image, 0.90" = 23.0mm.

         some cat lower carnassial lengths:
                                 Domestic cat: 7.8mm
                                  Lynx rufus: 11.0mm
                                  Lynx rexroadensis: 14.3mm
                                  Felis concolor: 15.2mm (western form)
                                  " " 16.4mm (Florida panther)
                                  Panthera onca: 23.0mm (Florida jaguar)



I have sent photos, etc to Richard Hulbert.  We'll see if he agrees with you... maybe    Thanks JackPumaConcolorlowerleftp4.JPG.49bac461080580257c3a0f5e0041d685.JPGPumaConcolor.jpg.5d3911598aa00f700bbd37d698b15d9c.jpg




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12 hours ago, Huntonia said:

Cool find in any case! 


I agree. Any predator tooth is special, because they are so rare.  There are lots of difficulties in identifying individual teeth,  especially when you step out of the friendly confines of the last 100k years. 

Here is a Felis Cougar... a mountain lion with p4s.. note that little double bump on the left of the tooth.MountainLion.JPG.1ce7508592ce3e86953bba119473f35d.JPG

and now , some of the older cats in my hunting area.FelisCougar.JPG.5151c25a3e57a267590e96eae1e22ca2.JPGLynx_rexroadensis.JPG.8560bde6c2be6855a47274f47c1ff365.JPGRhizosmilodon_fitae.JPG.e77bad35f4624cb1d164876f57cb54aa.JPG5f8f27bd3ce1c_s-l1600Miracinonyxinexpectatus4.jpg.300e40f961c241692ab22e7d9430b099.jpg


These last 3 are p4s from respectively, Lynx_rexroadenis, Rhizosmilodon_fitae, and Miracinonyx_inexpectus.. The last has been called the American Cheetah...


My inability to differentiate these keeps me humble.

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Sorry for the late response, but yes, the species is puma concolor, and it’s a p4.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got an answer from Richard Hulbert on this one...


The carnivore tooth is not a carnassial, but is instead a lower premolar, most likely from a borophagine canid.


So, short and to the point..  I had put the word carnassial on the photo. The lower m1 is the carnassial in these predators.  This tooth is either a p3 or p4. 

borophagine "fits" the mammal age Clarendonian, species ranged from coyote size to grizzley size.





Epicyon saevus was likely around 50 pounds.. I am pleased to have a "borophagine canid", but certainly do not know how to differentiate from a different canid or even felis!!!!  RIchard has comparative jaws for Epicyon saevus and Epicyon haydeni.

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