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Bison Antiquus Upper Left Molar


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Shellseeker

Went hunting with my Son.  That in itself made it a great day. We have grown closer as we age and the separation over the last year has only made our time together more enjoyable.

For most of the day, we had the numerous and excellent finds that the Peace River hunts famous.  Things picked up in the last hour. 

BisonAntiquusUpperLeftM2text.thumb.jpg.deb70e6ef38f0bfab63ac3ffc62e207d.jpgBisonAntiquus2UpperLeftM2text.thumb.jpg.1c48f32f65a54906d55d1d22fe8945ae.jpg

Large Tooth: Clearly an upper,  could be M1, or M2 or M3.  The table below has measurements for a M1 and M2, but not M3.  This find 35.1 mm, 22.6 mm, and 67.1 mm respectively,  so I thought "maybe" the M2.

Bison_Antiquestable183690.jpg.8950baf610196a9d6463d3f128942fd8.jpg

I also found this photo on the Internet:

BisonLeftMaxilla_Utah.JPG.d1952e44b1dabc37fd3a9c916ff7b545.JPG

That tells me that this is the "left" maxilla, and just looking at the "shape" pattern (above and below photos), it is either M2 or M3.  So, I am looking for error in my thinking. and most of all I am looking for TFF Bison experts to tell me whether it is a M2 or a M3 and why.... so I'll go after the usual Bison expertise suspects.  @Harry Pristis   @Brett Breakin' Rocks @garyc @digit @Thomas.Dodson Please add others you think of ,  Jack

IMG_7890E.thumb.jpg.5f54dea67a3ab4fdf880a8e15bc03e33.jpg

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Harry Pristis

I don't think it's reliable to identify an isolated bison tooth to species.  The best you can say, I think, is Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus.

 

bison_teeth_table.jpg.78433be85d790f802ae5de32fcfd5431.jpgbison_P2_M3.JPG.b32b4fadb87d6dbada3e6a67a4c27a62.JPG

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Shellseeker
11 hours ago, Harry Pristis said:

I don't think it's reliable to identify an isolated bison tooth to species.  The best you can say, I think, is Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus.

 

bison_teeth_table.jpg.78433be85d790f802ae5de32fcfd5431.jpgbison_P2_M3.JPG.b32b4fadb87d6dbada3e6a67a4c27a62.JPG

Harry,

I do not want to misinterpret. 

It seems that you are saying that there is no way to differentiate between B. antiquus and B. latifrons, such that I could have a string of M1 to M3 in a segment of jaw and could not tell which of these 2 Bison provided the fossil because the mean measurements of all 3 teeth would be sized within millimeters of each other according to the above table, and both B. latifrons and B. antiquus were present in Florida's fossil record.

Are you aware of other Bison species that would also fit into the possibilities for Florida ?

Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus What does cf. indicate?

 

Thanks Jack

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Thomas.Dodson
1 hour ago, Harry Pristis said:

I don't think it's reliable to identify an isolated bison tooth to species.  The best you can say, I think, is Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus.

This is what I always thought with the possible exception of humongous teeth.

 

1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

Bison_Antiquestable183690.jpg.8950baf610196a9d6463d3f128942fd8.jpg

The fact that this references a juvenile Bison antiquus adds to your ID uncertainty. The size of your tooth should also be in range of Bison bison.

 

11 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus What does cf. indicate?

 

 

Thanks Jack

cf. is used in biological names to indicate a specimen that is difficult to id practically, due to preservation, similarities, etc. It's used to indicate a degree of identification uncertainty within the genus. It's an abbreviation of the latin word confer/conferatur (to compare).

 

I do believe your specimen is an M3 or maybe an M2. I can only speak from my own experience but I'm used to seeing a greater crown length to width ratio as you move from M1 to M3.

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Harry Pristis

1129439848_tentativeID.jpg.e40cd3cb0cca440d494f3f1d7261c039.jpg

In the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 19 March 1987, there is a note by Jiri Zidek concerning "...Syntax in Taxonomic Statements." There follows a response from Richard Estes.

Zidek argues (among other things) that "cf." and "aff." are synomymous. Estes disagrees.

Estes, the Editor of the JVP at the time, says the following:

 

Lucas (1987) also discussed the usage of the qualifiers aff. and cf., stating that "most vertebrate paleontologists understand the meanings of aff. and cf." My discussion with vertebrate paleontologists, and also my reading of their manuscripts, suggests that this may not be the case.

 

Zidek (1987) believed the two qualifiers to be interchangeable. If he is correct, one of them should probably be abandoned. I think that they often have, and should have, different meanings.

 

If I have a fossil element that does not differ structurally from that of a particular species, and also does not display diagnostic character states of that species or genus, I may wish to indicate this similarity in a structural sense (there may be stratagraphic and geographic reasons for this as well). The use of cf. in this case indicates a conservative identification, i.e. simply "to be compared with."

 

To me, the use of aff. indicates a greater degree of confidence. Perhaps I have a specimen that has most of the diagnostic character states of a taxon, or has one or two that differ very slightly, such that I have some minor doubts about referring it directly to that taxon. In this case I use aff. as an indication that I believe this specimen to be very close to the taxon concerned.

 

Obviously, there is intergradation in these two concepts. and it is certain that different workers will not apply it in exactly the same way. But if there is an attempt to follow such usage consistently, I believe that the author's degree of confidence in the identification is more accurately represented.

 

Because both [aff. and cf.] are an "alias for tentative identifications" (Zidek, 1987) information content may not be increased; again it is a matter of taste.

 

 

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Shellseeker
50 minutes ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

The fact that this references a juvenile Bison antiquus adds to your ID uncertainty. The size of your tooth should also be in range of Bison bison.

 

cf. is used in biological names to indicate a specimen that is difficult to id practically, due to preservation, similarities, etc. It's used to indicate a degree of identification uncertainty within the genus. It's an abbreviation of the latin word confer/conferatur (to compare).

 

I do believe your specimen is an M3 or maybe an M2. I can only speak from my own experience but I'm used to seeing a greater crown length to width ratio as you move from M1 to M3.

Thomas, Thanks for the definition of .cf

 

I can only deal with the data that seems to be available.

I have seen the chart that Harry provided previously.  It seems that University of Florida did a study of some Bison mandibles it possessed, which were hopefully from Florida finds. 2 Mandibles of Bison latifrons  and some number of mandibles of Bison antiquus, measuring the mean values.  The table numbers (LxW) for the M1 seem small compared to my find, the table numbers (LxW) for the M2 seem approximately the same, slightly smaller, and the M3 length, but not width are definitely larger... 45 -48 mm versus 35 mm).

That and the shape of the tips was why I ventured the M2 as the likely comparison. 

Have you come across any scientific measurements of Bison bison M2s?

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Shellseeker
12 minutes ago, Harry Pristis said:

The use of cf. in this case indicates a conservative identification, i.e. simply "to be compared with."

Harry,

Thanks for the extended definition and background of the definition. 

In this case, I think I would use cf.   because

1) The only 3 options I  have knowledge of existing in the Florida fossil record are B. latifrons, B. antiquus, and B. bison (modern introduction in Florida). I have already done a burn test on the fossil and there is nothing in its recovery that would imply it was a modern tooth. It was under 4-5 feet of tightly packed gravel with other consistent Pleistocene fossils of similar coloring.

2) My understanding from discussing with other fossil hunters and occasionally paleontologists is that B. Antiquus is far more common in the Florida fossil record for the Peace River than B. Latifrons.

3) Lacking other alternatives, and looking at the available data, a probable identification would be Upper Left M2 of  Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus. 

 

Thanks for your insights... Jack

 

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Thomas.Dodson
1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

Thomas, Thanks for the definition of .cf

 

I can only deal with the data that seems to be available.

I have seen the chart that Harry provided previously.  It seems that University of Florida did a study of some Bison mandibles it possessed, which were hopefully from Florida finds. 2 Mandibles of Bison latifrons  and some number of mandibles of Bison antiquus, measuring the mean values.  The table numbers (LxW) for the M1 seem small compared to my find, the table numbers (LxW) for the M2 seem approximately the same, slightly smaller, and the M3 length, but not width are definitely larger... 45 -48 mm versus 35 mm).

That and the shape of the tips was why I ventured the M2 as the likely comparison. 

Have you come across any scientific measurements of Bison bison M2s?

The values Harry quoted are mandibular molars and aren't really comparable to maxillary teeth. Mandibular M3 teeth have much greater crown length. I think he was trying to demonstrate how similar tooth dimensions are overall within Bison. The few researchers that measure teeth over more accurate methods tend to focus on mandibles I've noticed. Maybe because they're more common or less variable than maxillary teeth (speculation).  On that note I don't have any studies with measurements of Bison bison offhand but the M3 (maxillary) crown length of a female I just measured is 33mm. A little short on yours but it's close enough that Bison bison with larger teeth should definitely be in range of yours. The point here being there's simply great overlap within the genus.

 

2 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

Harry,

Thanks for the extended definition and background of the definition. 

In this case, I think I would use cf.   because

1) The only 3 options I  have knowledge of existing in the Florida fossil record are B. latifrons, B. antiquus, and B. bison (modern introduction in Florida). I have already done a burn test on the fossil and there is nothing in its recovery that would imply it was a modern tooth. It was under 4-5 feet of tightly packed gravel with other consistent Pleistocene fossils of similar coloring.

2) My understanding from discussing with other fossil hunters and occasionally paleontologists is that B. Antiquus is far more common in the Florida fossil record for the Peace River than B. Latifrons.

3) Lacking other alternatives, and looking at the available data, a probable identification would be Upper Left M2 of  Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus. 

 

Thanks for your insights... Jack

 

Is Bison occidentalis reported from Florida? Your reasoning for Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus seem reasonable for the reasons you listed. 

 

 

 

 

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Shellseeker
8 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

Is Bison occidentalis reported from Florida? Your reasoning for Bison sp. cf. B. antiquus seem reasonable for the reasons you listed. 

Thomas,

Over the last decade, I have seen a number of indirect references.  All repeating what is in this UTEP document: https://www.utep.edu/leb/pleistnm/taxaMamm/Bison.htm

Bison occidentalis is treated as a Synonym for Bison antiquus.  As far as I can tell without research or finds. 

FloridaFossilBison.JPG.93a90be7e02a833066160a4e27266a19.JPG

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Shellseeker
8 hours ago, Thomas.Dodson said:

The values Harry quoted are mandibular molars and aren't really comparable to maxillary teeth. Mandibular M3 teeth have much greater crown length. I think he was trying to demonstrate how similar tooth dimensions are overall within Bison. The few researchers that measure teeth over more accurate methods tend to focus on mandibles I've noticed. Maybe because they're more common or less variable than maxillary teeth (speculation).  On that note I don't have any studies with measurements of Bison bison offhand but the M3 (maxillary) crown length of a female I just measured is 33mm. A little short on yours but it's close enough that Bison bison with larger teeth should definitely be in range of yours. The point here being there's simply great overlap within the genus.

 

For those reading along with this thread, that is a major error on my part,  and calls into question most of my assumptions.  I will attempt to find data and measurements on Bison antiquus mandibular molars and post it on this thread if I do.  Jack

 

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Harry Pristis

You shouldn't expend too much effort in searching for measurements of those maxillary molars, Jack.  The last line of the UTEP abstract tells you the teeth measurements are not reliable . . . the horn cores are useful for species identification.

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Thomas.Dodson
2 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

Thomas,

Over the last decade, I have seen a number of indirect references.  All repeating what is in this UTEP document: https://www.utep.edu/leb/pleistnm/taxaMamm/Bison.htm

Bison occidentalis is treated as a Synonym for Bison antiquus.  As far as I can tell without research or finds.

Typical taxonomic disagreement, especially over potential chrono-species. More recent references than in the UTEP document continue to treat Bison occidentalis as separate but that's another debate.

 

The point I wanted to make was the tooth could be in range of B. occidentalis if present (if it's treated as B antiquus it simply increases the variation in size). As Harry pointed out there's not much point in seeking out more measurements as there's too much overlap to make teeth diagnostic.

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