Jump to content

Purisima marine mammal tooth


sagacious

Recommended Posts

Found on the beach in Capitola, CA. The tooth is wave-worn and fractured lengthwise. Pinniped of some sort seems most likely, although I haven't seen this fingerprint-like pattern of dark blotches and lines on the enamel surface of other fossil pinniped teeth from this locality. It's unclear if is simply mineral staining, or might be a diagnostic aid to identification. Boesse may have seen this before. Length is 43mm x 16mm across the break.

IMG_3614.JPG

IMG_3613.JPG

IMG_3617.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting! It's too abraded to be sure, but it is either 1) some kind of small enamel-less sperm whale, 2) a large globicephaline dolphin, or 3) part of a walrus tusk.

 

Do you see any globular dentine in cross-section? Here's a transverse cross section of a modern walrus tusk - SD is the globular dentine part. it looks like little dentine spheres.

walrtus.jpg

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks for the reply! The base of the tooth is too darkly stained for me to see anything distinct, but the view of the lengthwise break shows what might possibly be wavy/bumpy globular dentine, specifically along the maroon-red central area. Or, it's just an artifact of the fracture, and the break happens to appear wavy/bumpy/globular in that area.

 

What I don't see, is globular dentine that fills much of the central area of the tooth -- as it's shown in your diagram above. If globular dentine only occupies a small part of the central area of a walrus tusk at the tip, then a walrus ID would be possible. Take a look at the full-size view of the top photo and let me know what you see along the central maroon-colored area.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, sagacious said:

Hey, thanks for the reply! The base of the tooth is too darkly stained for me to see anything distinct, but the view of the lengthwise break shows what might possibly be wavy/bumpy globular dentine, specifically along the maroon-red central area. Or, it's just an artifact of the fracture, and the break happens to appear wavy/bumpy/globular in that area.

 

What I don't see, is globular dentine that fills much of the central area of the tooth -- as it's shown in your diagram above. If globular dentine only occupies a small part of the central area of a walrus tusk at the tip, then a walrus ID would be possible. Take a look at the full-size view of the top photo and let me know what you see along the central maroon-colored area.

 

 

Are you finding a lot of fossils this winter?  The Bay Area (and California as a whole) is getting tons of rain, as in enough to erase the drought of the past few years in most areas. 

 

Jess

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, siteseer said:

 

 

Are you finding a lot of fossils this winter?  The Bay Area (and California as a whole) is getting tons of rain, as in enough to erase the drought of the past few years in most areas. 

 

Jess

Hey Jess, I've been finding a few interesting things, but not quite as many as I might have hoped. Sometimes the rain can be too much of a good thing, and big waves and storms scour the cliffs and wash smaller items away almost as fast as they expose them. As always, never know what you'll find, so fingers crossed for the next storm.

 

Perhaps, though, I'll make some new discoveries in my existing collection. I hadn't considered the larger odontocetes as a possible ID for the tooth in the images above. I have a number of broken marine mammal teeth that I had tentatively ID'ed as pinnipeds, but thanks to Boesse's insights above, I'll have to reconsider an odontocete ID. Maybe I'll post a few to see if a definitive ID is possible.

 

Regards,

Eric

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2017 at 2:58 PM, sagacious said:

Hey Jess, I've been finding a few interesting things, but not quite as many as I might have hoped. Sometimes the rain can be too much of a good thing, and big waves and storms scour the cliffs and wash smaller items away almost as fast as they expose them. As always, never know what you'll find, so fingers crossed for the next storm.

 

Perhaps, though, I'll make some new discoveries in my existing collection. I hadn't considered the larger odontocetes as a possible ID for the tooth in the images above. I have a number of broken marine mammal teeth that I had tentatively ID'ed as pinnipeds, but thanks to Boesse's insights above, I'll have to reconsider an odontocete ID. Maybe I'll post a few to see if a definitive ID is possible.

 

Regards,

Eric

 

 

Hi Eric,

 

Yeah, I thought I'd be hearing about all kinds of great stuff being found, but as you say, the coast has been pounded by more than we're getting inland.  I hope you can get out and find something in between storms but it's also great when you can find something new while going through an old box. 

 

Jess

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...