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Amphibian (Scapherpeton) jaw section?


PaleoNoel

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Hi everyone, I haven't posted an ID in a while as I'm at college and don't have ready access to my fossils to take pics. However tonight, through sheer coincidence, I noticed a recognizable fossil online after looking at the new discovery of an albanerpetonid amphibian preserved in amber. After checking if these amphibians had been found in the Hell Creek I see an image come up of a jaw identified as belonging to scapherpeton (a true salamander) and recognized some features similar to a specimen of my own which I had never posted. I found this small jaw section in the Hell Creek fm. of North Dakota and while I don't remember a specific measurement I am confident that is was about 1 cm in length give or take a few mm.

Here's the pic of the jaw I saw online, posted by the national museum of natural history on their google arts and culture page.

Scapherpeton tectum Cope — Google Arts & Culture

Here's my small jaw:

IMG_5086.thumb.jpg.464d55a7a1c2485e8404871c2ebf8801.jpg

IMG_5087.thumb.jpg.42a411ee300d6a57a225c2c3bca95722.jpg

 

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DeMar Jr. 06 28 12 An Illustrated Guide to latest Cretaceous Vertebrate Microfossils of the Hell Creek Formation of northeastern Montana is extremely useful when trying to ID Hell Creek microfossils.  Some figures from the guide:

 

 

image.png.05c64e253d214b014068d58f5c46c846.png

 

image.png.f9c53e1f2fe779bbcb8b80789b44dee9.png

 

image.thumb.png.24d186903d2001cc3c37f29283bccee5.png

 

 

I think your jaw is lizard.

 

Marco Sr.

Edited by MarcoSr
added lizard ID
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I think it is indeed an amphibian, possibly Scapherpeton.  I can't say why without looking at sources, but that is my gut feeling.  We ID those as amphibian.   

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9 hours ago, jpc said:

I think it is indeed an amphibian, possibly Scapherpeton.  I can't say why without looking at sources, but that is my gut feeling.  We ID those as amphibian.   

 

Based upon Jean-Pierre's salamander ID, I sent the pictures of this specimen to Dr. James Gardner, a salamander researcher who is studying amphibian specimens from my sons' Eocene/Oligocene ranch in Nebraska, and I asked if he had an opinion on an ID.  Below is the response that I received back:

 

"That jaw looks like a well-worn left dentary of the sirenid salamander Habrosaurus, which is well known from the Hell Creek Formation.  See text-fig. 8 in the attached paper of mine.  I am not surprised there has been chatter about whether that jaw is from a lizard or a salamander.  When Habrosaurus was originally named in 1928 by Charles Gilmore, based on a dentary with intact teeth from the Lance Formation, he thought it was a lizard."

 

Below is the text-fig. 8 from  Gardner 2003 REVISION OF HABROSAURUS GILMORE (CAUDATA SIRENIDAE) AND RELATIONSHIPS AMONG SIRENID SALAMANDERS

 

image.png.10d4b1060f63a469766cdd3bef5798dd.png

 

 

 

Marco Sr.

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