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Jesuslover340

Show Us Your Croc, Gator, and Turtle Material!

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caterpillar

A big guy from south eocene of France

IMGP3244.JPG

IMGP3245.JPG

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Doctor Mud
4 hours ago, Ash said:

At least you find teeth! I'm yet to get one.

 

Hope you do. Boy imagine if some of those sockets had teeth in them.....

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belemniten

What a nice topic with many awesome fossils !

Your skull is amazing caterpillar !

 

I just have some sweet little teeth ... :D

All were found in the lower Jurassic in Holzmaden.

They are all crocodile teeth, probably Steneosaurus bollensis, which seems to be the most common species there (although they are still very rare) ...

 

2.3 cm long:

 

Nr.2 D1.JPG

 

1.6 cm long:

 

Nr.7 D.JPG

 

1 cm long:

 

Nr.10 D1.JPG

 

This are the best and biggest croc teeth i have until now ...

 

 

 

 

 

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Minnesota Nice
15 hours ago, Ash said:

Are there any limb or other tortoise bones around them? You'd think there would be.

Stylemys Nebrascansis are rarely found with skulls or limbs intact. Cleophas O'Harra opines that, because Stylemys was a land tortoise, the process of moving the decaying body to its final area of preservation separated the limbs and head which were not retractable. 

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Jesuslover340
1 hour ago, Minnesota Nice said:

Stylemys Nebrascansis are rarely found with skulls or limbs intact. Cleophas O'Harra opines that, because Stylemys was a land tortoise, the process of moving the decaying body to its final area of preservation separated the limbs and head which were not retractable. 

Wouldn't that then void the theory of them burrowing into the mud, where they would stay in place?

 

Nice teeth, @belemniten! I don't hear of much croc material from Germany.

 

And that turtle is absolutely adorable @sseth :wub:

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sseth
3 minutes ago, Jesuslover340 said:

Wouldn't that then void the theory of them burrowing into the mud, where they would stay in place?

 

Nice teeth, @belemniten! I don't hear of much croc material from Germany.

 

And that turtle is absolutely adorable @sseth :wub:

Thanks.  It is a cutie.

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Minnesota Nice
1 hour ago, Jesuslover340 said:

Wouldn't that then void the theory of them burrowing into the mud, where they would stay in place?

 

Nice teeth, @belemniten! I don't hear of much croc material from Germany.

 

And that turtle is absolutely adorable @sseth :wub:

 

In an albeit old 1936 paper found here  https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/48217/ID056.pdf?sequence=2 

E.C. Case says

"Among the hundreds of specimens of Stylemys recovered from A White River Oligocene beds of South Dakota and other states few retain the bones of limbs, girdles, neck, or skull. This is probably due to the relaxation of the cadaver as decay set in and the protruding limbs and neck were washed away or devoured by carrion eaters." 

I can't find anything more current on the subject although I will consult Rachel Bentons book "The White River Badlands: Geology and Paleontology" and see if I can find anything new. 

@Harry Pristis may also shed some light. 

 

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Canadawest
13 hours ago, Jesuslover340 said:

@Canadawest, I imagine it is because we had more mammalian predators...Australia's fossil record/history is particularly intriguing in that reptiles fill the niche of predominant predator.

That being said, feel free to send a few of those teeth and scutes our way :P You don't need them, do you? :P

 

Here's an undescribed croc jaw from Aus:

20161221_195542-1.jpg

 

 

Thats a good point.  During our Late Cretaceous, there was always a large Tyrannosaur species that would have scavenged anything large that it could rip apart and swallow. Crocs and other scavengers/predators would have been on the periphery waiting for leftovers or hunting smaller prey.  We get this in our ecosystem here today...if there is a dead moose or something, the Grizzly feasts while small predators on the periphery are darting in and out to grab what they can.  They are big enough to be a distracting annoyance to the bear but not big enough where the bear sees them as a substitute meal to the one on the menu.

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Jesuslover340

Wonder what the chances are, though? The first probability of so many being buried and fossilized together in the first place, then the probability of a body of water appearing fairly rapidly in the middle of a drought to then re-deposit all of them (and so many surviving) elsewhere? The body of water to move them to their second deposition had to have come quite fast to bury the shells quickly, lest if it were slow-moving, I imagine they would decay as they were exposed, even if under water. Unless they were fossilized before the body of water re-deposited them? But then the chances of them remaining intact are pretty slim, too.

 

Anyways...back on topic...

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Jesuslover340

Here's a rather large gator tooth from the pleistocene of Florida :)

20161222_145802.jpg

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britishcanuk
On 2016-12-21 at 2:12 PM, Jesuslover340 said:

Tortoises-my bad. That's what I meant but not what I said :P

Valid point, but one must be amazed at the statistical improbabilities of so many tortoises actually fossilizing in the same place over time...or if they all died at once, the chance of there being so many and so many actually fossilizing, given the predominantly unfavourable conditions for fossilization (drought and the statistical probablity of there being an 'oasis' in the middle of it that would be favourable to rapidly burying the tortoises). Astounding!

 

However, I'd be keen to see more croc/gator and turtle/tortoise specimens!

Perhaps they fell into a waterbody, drowned and sank to the bottom. Over hundreds or thousands of years many tortoises may have died this way. To the future fossil hunter, it might appear as though many died together, but it could have been over many generations that so many individuals were trapped in their watery grave. This would explain the lack of diversity because most other animals could simply swim or climb out, it would explain their high densities and maybe even the lack of limbs and heads because those parts may have been scavenged after the tortoise had died.

 

Some great croc skulls in this thread!

 

 

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Jesuslover340
1 hour ago, britishcanuk said:

Perhaps they fell into a waterbody, drowned and sank to the bottom. Over hundreds or thousands of years many tortoises may have died this way. To the future fossil hunter, it might appear as though many died together, but it could have been over many generations that so many individuals were trapped in their watery grave. This would explain the lack of diversity because most other animals could simply swim or climb out, it would explain their high densities and maybe even the lack of limbs and heads because those parts may have been scavenged after the tortoise had died.

 

Some great croc skulls in this thread!

 

 

Erm...didn't my quoted comment also address the implausibilities of that which you mentioned? Furthermore, if buried in a body of water, might we actually expect some bones? It would be harder for scavengers to get at a body under the water. Granted, they may be dispersed, but I think we should still expect to find some. I also don't think many tortoises would have walked so far into a body of water as to risk the chance of drowning if water was abundant...I may be wrong, but even if so, the improbability is still there of so many tortoises (and seemingly only tortoises for the site) actually fossilizing and remaining preserved in one small site over a long span of time...Just makes the site amazing to me, with treasures to unlock.

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britishcanuk
44 minutes ago, Jesuslover340 said:

Erm...didn't my quoted comment also address the implausibilities of that which you mentioned? Furthermore, if buried in a body of water, might we actually expect some bones? It would be harder for scavengers to get at a body under the water. Granted, they may be dispersed, but I think we should still expect to find some. I also don't think many tortoises would have walked so far into a body of water as to risk the chance of drowning if water was abundant...I may be wrong, but even if so, the improbability is still there of so many tortoises (and seemingly only tortoises for the site) actually fossilizing and remaining preserved in one small site over a long span of time...Just makes the site amazing to me, with treasures to unlock.

Your quoted comment didn't seem to address much to be honest. It was a general statement that more or less stated your opinion that it was statistically improbable , but without any actual explanation of why you think that or offering any theories on why they might be preserved in such a state or in such numbers.

 

My theory seems plausible to be, but I admit it was spontaneous and without much background info on the site itself. I do know this though, most tortoises don't swim well and they drown easily, and most fossils require water and sediment to form. I also know that there are aquatic scavengers that could easily scatter bones, or even eat them (crocodilians, turtles, fish, etc.), but whether there is evidence of such scavengers at this site I don't know.

 

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on why it is statistically improbable for such numbers to be preserved in close proximity, because evidently it happened somehow.

 

My apologies for any grammar or spelling mistakes, I'm not very good at typing on my phone!

 

cheers


 

 
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Jesuslover340

Your first two sentences are precisely what my quoted comment about the implausibilities concerned, is what I meant. I didn't think it necessary to propound; just seems to be pretty straightforward. Out of all the fossils that have been preserved, I believe vertebrates take up less than 10%...so the chances of even a single turtle fossil fossilizing is is statistically unlikely. Now extrapolate that to 48 or so of them being preserved...and in one small area! Of the same species, over a long period of time, with no other well-represented animal fauna. Just tortoises. My guess is is that something drew them together to the one spot and then they were rapidly buried, perhaps by a flash flood or something. Seems to be a more likely explanation.

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Jesuslover340
7 minutes ago, Harry Pristis said:

Britishcanuck misunderstands the geology and conditions in the Oligocene prairie . . . dry, hot, and plagued with volcanic ashfalls from the West.  If there were significant permanent water sources, we'd find fossils of aquatic turtles, fish, mussels, etc. 

 

The tortoises are much more likely to have suffocated in an ashfall than to have drowned.  Remember the mammoth mortality aggregation, now a tourist attraction.  There is a similar site in Eastern Nebraska with a group of rhinos.

 

J'lover keeps referring to probabilities, but fails to appreciate the powerful draw of moisture in a dry/drought environment.  More-mobile animals are likely to migrate from a dried-up water hole, leaving behind the slow-moving tortoises.

 

Bonebeds are a familiar phenomenon.  If you think of the tortoise cluster as a bonebed, it won't seem so mind-boggling.

I read the White River Badlands were deposited on a floodplain and was fairly 'lush'? This seems supported by the fact that the geological strata the fossils are preserved in are sedimentary-more specifically indicating streams/small riverbeds. Which then raises the question again as to what lured them to the specific locality. To me, it is not so much about it being "mind-boggling" as it is being curious and exploring things for myself; to question the norm if it should lead to new discoveries.

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Harry Pristis

Where did you read that description?!  Let me repeat:  If it were a riparian habitat, we'd find evidence of aquatic animals.  The "strata" you are imagining are composed in large part of volcanic clays, a product of ashfalls. 

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britishcanuk

Harry, interesting post. I wouldn't have presumed the waterbodies were permanent though, especially given the lack of aquatic gastropods and such, as you point out. Rather, I was thinking ephemeral and seasonal. Perhaps even hot or toxic from volcanic influence, but maybe that's a stretch. At any rate, ash fall seems pretty plausible as well so I wouldn't want to get into a debate when you obviously know more on the site than I do.

 

Jesuslover, I'm not sure I agree that it is that unusual to see so many tortoises in one spot. On the Galápagos Islands they seems to congregate in favorable habitat, and aside from some small lizards and birds, are the predominant species. Given the fragility of the lizards and birds and the robust nature of the tortoise shells, I wouldn't necessarily expect much different if we were to excavate the Galapagos in 30 million years or so.

 

Great discussion guys. Cheers!

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Jesuslover340
8 minutes ago, Harry Pristis said:

Where did you read that description?!  Let me repeat:  If it were a riparian habitat, we'd find evidence of aquatic animals.  The "strata" you are imagining are composed in large part of volcanic clays, a product of ashfalls. 

The White River group is stated to be largely an "alluvial floodplain"; the Chadron and Brule Formation are composed of siltstones, sandstones, and sandy conglomerates. Just a quick read on the Net proffered that information :)

Now, I never said it was riparian...but apparently water WAS present, even if only seasonal. I suppose the main jist of what I am getting at is that I think it more plausible, after examining the evidence, that the tortoises were buried rapidly from a catastrophic event...initially, one thinks of depostion over long periods of time, but I think in this case it was rather more likely to have been rapid deposition...maybe by a flash, seasonal flood; perhaps by volcanic activity.

 

I wouldn't disagree with tortoises gathering in close groups to one another...I see that with snapping turtles at a pond.  I just see it as more unlikely-in this case-that it was done by a series of individual tortoises dying and fossilizing in the same place over a long period of time vs a group being catastrophically and rapidly buried in a single moment.

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-Andy-
17 hours ago, caterpillar said:

A big guy from south eocene of France

 

Oh man what a drool worthy fossil!

 

@sseth That fossil snapper never fails to amaze me

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Jesuslover340

Well, apart from a few other specimens, here is a croc vert and LARGE piece of croc skull from the Pleistocene of Australia:

20161222_220750-1.jpg

20161222_220821-1.jpg

20161222_220834-1.jpg

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Jesuslover340

Anyone else have specimens? Surprisingly, not much gator has been posted.

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Harry Pristis

Here are some crocodilian fossils:

croc_ungual.jpg

gator_clawcores.JPG

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