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goldsmacker

Opalised Dino Tooth? Pic Heavy

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goldsmacker

Hello everyone I have recently obtained an opal parcel of rough to cut into gems from the opal fields at lightning ridge Australia, however right before I was about to grind this one rough opal something stood out. I remembered walking in the natural history museum in Sidney Australia and noticed the opalized teeth of varies animals/dinos etc. This one was just like one I had seen many years ago. I cleaned it only; no polish just water and a soft paintbrush as not to alter it. From my research, I found a possible match a Hypsilophodon it lived in the area where lightning ridge opals are found and some recorded fossils of this dino are sometimes unearthed there in small pieces. I have tried to contact museums and or universities as I live near OSU and they have one of the best paleontological programs in the country (or so I’m told) and have not heard back after 6 months of trying from any of them. I would like to know if it is a real opal replacement of a tooth or a lookalike. It measures 13.33mm long X 10.9mm wide X 4.02mm thick. And is very detailed under a microscope with tooth like root. Any ideas?

I have cut thousands of opals from rough, and have seen millions of pieces of rough easy, including opalized fossils, even some plesiosaurs teeth but never this. The miner, who sold me the opals, said that he has been finding some opalized dino bone fragments lately but they are unidentifiable as they are crushed, and very small pieces, and I also purchased a opalized finger or toe bone from a very nearby find, possibly a turtle flipper bone.

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goldsmacker

More pics, I am willing to send it to a museum or verified expert's for testing, as I’m sure if this is real it may be important from what I read on this dinosaur.

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Opisthotriton

Beautiful, and the striations on the upper part are very interesting, but the "base" of the "tooth" doesn't have any structure; it looks very rock like.

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goldsmacker

I agree, however many opalized teeth that I have seen (mind you they were behind glass) looked rocky near the root for some reason. Under 30x the root looks very pitted or porous like, but it still has colorful opal, however there is more sandy matrix mixed inside the opal in the possible root area, the back of the opal tooth is more flat but still has some striations like the front just distorted. Several teeth in the museum looked flat on the other side and very worn near the root, or it looked like Swiss cheese under the scope like this one. Opal is a tricky gem, and can come in any shape you could ever dream of.

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Mike from North Queensland

looks like fossil material to me :) could not confirm tooth but as the stirations are on both sides the most likely candidate as most fossils there are cretaceous water dwellers with a few land animals.

Mike

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Down under fossil hunter

Just found this topic while looking for info on Opal fossils.

I think this is a very interesting fossil, I agree that it does have characteristics that make it look like it could belong to a Hypsilophodon or something similar however I can't see enough detail to say definitively it is a tooth.

I think it looks like it had an organic origin but until someone who is very familiar with Lightning Ridge material takes a look at it I guess we won't know.

Have you sent any pics to Australian paleontologists?

Here is a pic of a couple from that location to use as a reference.

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