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GeschWhat

Toothplate Impression From The Lower Jaw Of A Triassic Lungfish?

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GeschWhat

Hi all,

I found this impression in a Triassic coprolite from the Bull Canyon Formation, Quay Co., NM. It is hard to see in the photo, but there appears to be bits of enamel/bone still stuck in some of the cavities left by whatever made the impression (shows up white). Best I have been able to determine, it was left by the tooth plate from the lower jaw of a lungfish. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Isn't poop just the best? Thanks for looking!

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post-17480-0-92795800-1441315032_thumb.jpg

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Auspex

Without knowing anything about lungfish tooth plates; forgive me for asking, but wouldn't the bumps be depressions if it was an impression? They appear to be raised.

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Troodon

I like the coporlite, poop is the best, a lot of nice critters from that Formation.

I attached a photo of a lower lungfish mouth plate in matrix. Your suggesting that the white bumps lines on my picture are embedded in your coporlite?

post-10935-0-47661500-1441321098_thumb.jpg

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GeschWhat

Without knowing anything about lungfish tooth plates; forgive me for asking, but wouldn't the bumps be depressions if it was an impression? They appear to be raised.

They may look raised, but they are actually depressions. Can depressions be impressions? Anyway, I think there are bits of the tooth plate that broke off and are stuck in the depressions. Where that happened, it is raised. Ugh!

Edited by GeschWhat

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GeschWhat

I like the coporlite, poop is the best, a lot of nice critters from that Formation.

I attached a photo of a lower lungfish mouth plate in matrix. Your suggesting that the white bumps lines on my picture are embedded in your coporlite?

attachicon.gif20150903_155316-1.jpg

I think it was embedded at one time but has broken away. A lot of the coprolites in this particular batch were partially or completely encased in what I think is siderite (some kind of iron stone). So I'm assuming the tooth plate went with the concretion when the coprolite weathered out. Unfortunately, I know coprolite pretty well, but have a hard time figuring out what was on the menu. Too many different creatures being eaten!

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Troodon

If you look at the photo I attached the Lungfish plates appear to be in a fan pattern. I do not see that with your specimen its irregular.

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GeschWhat

If you look at the photo I attached the Lungfish plates appear to be in a fan pattern. I do not see that with your specimen its irregular.

Do you know of another fish with a mouth plate that would match this? Any other critter come to mind...bivalve, mutant crab, other?

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Rockwood

Any chance they could be gastroliths ? The shape, color, and configuration seem pretty random.

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GeschWhat

See if this photo helps...I tried to angle the light a little differently. Hopefully in this one you will be able to see how whatever it was fractured and left bits embedded. I have seen gastroliths (or at least what I assume to be gastroliths), in some of the Triassic specimens, and they have a different look to them, and they usually seem to appear closer to the ends. I'm a big fan of paradolia, maybe I'm seeing patterns that aren't there! Or maybe I've just been poop gazing too long!

post-17480-0-62488900-1441380730_thumb.jpg

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Auspex

I am beginning to think that what we are seeing is a section through something entrained im the mass.

post-423-0-37605500-1441385503_thumb.jpg

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Carl

I don't see pareidolia there. (Is there a word for that???) Whatever that is, it is special!

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Troodon

Much better image. I can see the possibility of that plate embedded in the coporlite. The nubs on the lower mouth plate seem to be similar. Without cleaning out the area a bit you may never know and I'm not suggesting you do so.

post-10935-0-36702900-1441386886_thumb.jpg

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GeschWhat

I am beginning to think that what we are seeing is a section through something entrained im the mass.

attachicon.gif~.jpg

Could be, but I'm don't want to destroy this one. Do you guys think an X-ray would work? If so, maybe I could get my daughter to X-ray it at work.

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JohnJ

Sounds like it's worth a try...and a CT scan just for fun. :)

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PFOOLEY

I'm not sure how helpful this is...but it led me to this. I like the idea of a tooth plate, though originally wondered about an echinoid test...but who would want to eat those. :P

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Troodon

Like the idea of x-ray but can you get the resolution you need on something so small? Feeling better about a tooth plate.

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GeschWhat

Like the idea of x-ray but can you get the resolution you need on something so small? Feeling better about a tooth plate.

No idea, but I thought I'd try...that is until I asked my daughter how much they'd charge at her vet clinic. She just flat out said, "Ah...no Mom...not happening." She didn't even try to humor me!!! Kids! Give them life, and they won't even X-ray petrified poop for you! :P

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GeschWhat

I'm not sure how helpful this is...but it led me to this. I like the idea of a tooth plate, though originally wondered about an echinoid test...but who would want to eat those. :P

Thanks, PFOOLEY, I hadn't seen these!

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PFOOLEY

At the museum, I have seen them use latex to make a "positive" of impressions. It is a much better visual than trying to think from the inside out. Silly Putty might work if you wanted to make a temporary cast to compare with toothplates. Interesting specimen...best of luck in your search for identification.

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GeschWhat

At the museum, I have seen them use latex to make a "positive" of impressions. It is a much better visual than trying to think from the inside out. Silly Putty might work if you wanted to make a temporary cast to compare with toothplates. Interesting specimen...best of luck in your search for identification.

I actually have some latex on hand, so I just put some on. I keep it on hand in case the Zombie Apocalypse hits and I need to blend in! :rolleyes: I know, my maturity level is showing. I study petrified poop...what do you expect? Seriously, though, I have used it in the past to see if I had tooth marks in a coprolite from SC. I will leave it until morning and then see what it looks like. I have also used Model Magic (the light foam-like modeling clay). In case anyone is interested, that works great for bigger items, but you have to let it set up a little before you use it or it sticks. I used it on a coprolite that I thought may have a footprint in it. Jury is still out on that one...it was from the Morrison Fm, and I'm not even sure if it's a real coprolite.

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PFOOLEY

A footprint in a coprolite would be very cool. I've stepped in cow poop a few times. :)

Please post your results. :popcorn:

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GeschWhat

Definitely!

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GeschWhat

Well, the latex was a bust...hardly any detail showed up. I think part of the problem is that I used clear latex, and the other is that not enough detail showed up because most of the areas still have broken off bits of the tooth plate (or whatever it is) embedded in it. I tried it with the model magic as well, but it is just too small to show much detail.

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Troodon

Any possible hope with X-rays? Considered bribery :)

Good friends with any dentist?

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GeschWhat

Any possible hope with X-rays? Considered bribery :)

Good friends with any dentist?

I may try my dentist...it might just be crazy enough! We'll see...

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