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whowat13

Unknown Cetacean Tooth...

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whowat13

I found this this past weekend...

I was told that it is a dolphin tooth, but have never seen one like it before.

post-5742-0-85045200-1401235247_thumb.jpgpost-5742-0-59050700-1401235250_thumb.jpgpost-5742-0-18806200-1401235256_thumb.jpg

Please let me know what you think...

-Bill H.

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whowat13

Here are two more pics...

post-5742-0-93001200-1401235391_thumb.jpgpost-5742-0-15843100-1401235397_thumb.jpg

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Sélacien34

I think that it's a Kentriodontidae tooth, they have been found in Florida. This one is from Belgium. I have found one recently in France.

post-11962-0-33551100-1401267639_thumb.png

Edited by Sélacien34

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Boesse

What is curious about this tooth - which is decidedly unlike Delphinodon (which I believe has been correctly identified by Selacien34 - but I am not convinced by the teeth Harry posted, which lack the posterobasal cusps present in Delphinodon and could represent any number of unicuspid kentriodontid with roughened enamel, e.g. Hadrodelphis, or even platanistoids like Phocageneus) in that it has numerous cusps on the anterior and posterior sides of the crown - a relatively primitive feature, something that characterizes odontocetes like squalodontids, waipatiids, agorophiids, xenorophids, and other Oligo-Miocene archaic odontocetes - but is single rooted and tiny.

Granted, the photos are fuzzy, I have not had an opportunity to examine many unpublished Atlantic coastal plain odontocetes, and I am not as familiar with the literature as some other paleocetologists, but I don't recall seeing a tooth like this before.

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Sélacien34

I have seen the basal cusplet broken on this picture of the crown. That's true that the pictures are too fuzzy and I have attributed the other cusps to the crown break. Better pics may help. :)

post-11962-0-38284900-1401287233_thumb.jpg

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whowat13

Here is a higher resolution picture of the tooth in question... I hope it is better. I will post another one soon.

post-5742-0-25204400-1401290746_thumb.jpg

-Bill H.

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whowat13

Here is the other high resolution pic... I hope these help.

post-5742-0-61005200-1401291529_thumb.jpg

PS - The white spots along the edge is the reflection of light off of the enamel.

-Bill H.

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Sélacien34

That's better and different here, it's not a Kentriodontidae but a Squalodontidae tooth.

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Harry Pristis

Squalodonts are not recorded from Florida. Was the tooth collected in Florida?

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whowat13

It was found in the spoil piles that were brought in for the Aurora Fossil Festival... In front of the Aurora Fossil Museum.

Sorry, I forgot to put that info in another place in the post other than the tags.

-Bill H.

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Boesse

...given the very, very small size of the tooth, I highly doubt it's a squalodontid. That sort of tooth morphology is archaic in general, and widely distributed amongst nearly all Oligocene and numerous early Miocene odontocetes.

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Sélacien34

...given the very, very small size of the tooth, I highly doubt it's a squalodontid. That sort of tooth morphology is archaic in general, and widely distributed amongst nearly all Oligocene and numerous early Miocene odontocetes.

Do you have an idea about what it is exactly? Does this tooth belong to a primitive dolphin?

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sixgill pete

teeth of this "type" are not uncommon at all from the spoil piles there. Over the years I have accumulated probably 20 or so with single roots. I have always been told generically they are dolphin teeth. There is also a similar tooth, much rarer that has been found in the mine and in a few of the spoil piles that has a double root. I have been told that these are from an undetermined odontocete.

Here are the double rooted ones .... post-4130-0-52563800-1401308439_thumb.jpg post-4130-0-01101600-1401308462_thumb.jpg

I was not able to find any pictures of the single rooted ones like yours. I will try to take some later tonight for comparison

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siteseer

The problem with whale teeth in general is that they change from those of a land carnivore with the differentiation of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars across the Oligocene to those of a fish (or squid) eater with very simplified peg-like or hook-like teeth by the end of the Miocene. You end up with several groups of rather unrelated whales having the same range of tooth types to the point that you cannot confidently identify an isolated tooth even to the family level. On top of that whale teeth tend to fall out of the jaws soon after death so you can't match teeth to skulls.

Adding to the frustration, there is a photo of a group of teeth from the modern sperm whale species in the Lee Creek volume on mammals (Whitmore and Kaltenbach, 2008: fig. 90). If you didn't know that they all came from several individuals of one species, you would be tempted to say that they belong to at least two different genera, ranging from slender curved teeth to bulkier straighter ones with variations between and at both ends of the spectrum.

Jess .

Whitmore, F.C. and J.A. Kaltenbach. 2008.

Neogene Cetacea of the Lee Creek Phosphate Mine, North Carolina. In Ray, C.E., D.J. Bohaska, I.A. Koretsky, L.W. Ward, and L.G. Barnes. (eds.) 2008. Geology and Paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina, IV. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 14. Virginia Museum of Natural History Publications.

.

Do you have an idea about what it is exactly? Does this tooth belong to a primitive dolphin?

Edited by siteseer

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Sélacien34

Thank you all for your explanations. Seen like this, the tooth seems close to those of squalodons, but i'm still a bit light about cetaceans. ;)

Edited by Sélacien34

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Boesse

Thanks Jess - that image explains quite succinctly why I am so hesitant to - and critical of - attempting to slap identifications onto fossil odontocete teeth.

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mako-mama

These tiny Pungo cetacean teeth have been a 20 year obsession for me. Too bad nobody ever found a skull to go with them.

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whowat13

I got a positive ID (He is positive of the ID) on this tooth from a friend of mine... His official opinion is that it is a Seal tooth!

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Troodon

Here is an image I just pulled off the web of seal teeth from Lee Creek. Not sure I see a match.

post-10935-0-27954900-1401667725_thumb.jpg

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Boesse

I got a positive ID (He is positive of the ID) on this tooth from a friend of mine... His official opinion is that it is a Seal tooth!

No offense, but your friend is mistaken. There isn't a single pinniped - alive or dead - with a tooth that looks like that.

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