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squirrel tooth


Rowboater

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Rowboater

Found this in a creek off the RIMG-20170506-WA0001.thumb.jpg.511b8c4120a4b4aaa09e8cbc155b0769.jpgIMG-20170506-WA0000.thumb.jpg.1ba4b51efe5fe81a65898ea9fb1cb99f.jpg5-7-17-rodent_tooth.jpg.7fcdbac750e749ace1ec4d1385802529.jpg590f86a7cdcc0_5-7-2017-rodenttooth.jpg.fad544d94de1abcbf2887f1e253d3fe3.jpgappahannock River mixed in with Found this in a creek off the Rappahannock River, Virginia mixed in with shark teeth.  Curved (semi-circular), chisel on one end (two tone color), hollow on other end.  No idea what the stuff stuck to it is.

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I think beaver.

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Is this what you are thinking is stuck to it ?

IMG-20170506-WA0001.thumb.jpg.511b8c4120a4b4aaa09e8cbc155b0769 a.jpg

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fossilized6s

Beaver teeth are orange/red. 

 

I think possible partial muskrat mandible. Looks a bit large for squirrel. Are there any other teeth left? The grinding teeth would help the best with an ID. 

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sagacious

Looks like a muskrat upper incisor.  Much too small for beaver or nutria, and looks too big for Eastern squirrels. 

 

I have some muskrat teeth around here somewhere from when I used to trap them, but don't have time to find them for a photo. Do a google search for muskrat teeth for a comparison with your tooth.

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The stuff stuck to it... That is the bone...the premaxilla. 

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Left mandible, beaver.

The color is stain.

 

IMG_4188a.jpg

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You may notice that this animal died from overgrown teeth. Under warn would perhaps be more accurate.

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sagacious

Looks like that was likely a captive animal, yes?

 

Muskrat, nutria, beaver -- all generally have orange or rust-colored enamel when alive. Enamel only on the front of the incisors, of course.

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Rowboater

Thanks for all the replies, I'm badly jetlagged and having a tough time with the pollen.

I was wondering what the brown stuff was, but it makes sense that it is bone, just not used to seeing mud brown fossilized bone.

I'll do the Google search for muskrat!

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23 minutes ago, sagacious said:

Looks like that was likely a captive animal, yes?

 

Muskrat, nutria, beaver -- all generally have orange or rust-colored enamel when alive. Enamel only on the front of the incisors, of course.

Captive, no. I found it in a gravel pit adjacent to a beaver pond.

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jpc may be right about it being a premaxilla. The radius of curvature is a good match. 

IMG_4189.JPG

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Rowboater

Thanks again.  Looks very similar (but opposite side) to the last photo.  The enamel covering the outer most edge (top and half of the side) of the protruding tooth is a mottled gray white.  The inside edge is a distinct layer, more yellow brown like the "premaxilla" bone.  Unfortunately most of my finds are tossed about in a creek bed and I didn't find any other rodent teeth or bones.  

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4 hours ago, Rockwood said:

The color is stain.

The color is caused by the incorporation of iron in the living tooth for added strength. This is a trait of some rodents.

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18 minutes ago, ynot said:

The color is caused by the incorporation of iron in the living tooth for added strength. This is a trait of some rodents.

 

And some non-rodents. My cat killed a shrew so I processed it and found it had orange tooth tips from iron.

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To be honest that is where I was going with it, but one might also consider the color of the tooth in question ;)

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sagacious

The op photo of the incisor shows a tooth with a diameter that's less than a third of the diameter of the penny.  This is what makes me think muskrat, but the scale of the photo is a bit rough.  If it's beaver, then possibly it's an immature animal. 

 

For comparison, these are lower incisors from a mature nutria.  Incisors from a mature beaver are as large or larger in diameter.  The tooth width is about 8.1mm, as compared with a penny, which is 19mm in width.

 

IMG_4176.JPG

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sagacious
13 hours ago, Rockwood said:

Left mandible, beaver.

The color is stain.

 

IMG_4188a.jpg

 

When I find old, weathered rodent skulls in the field, it's very common to find the lower, and especially the upper, incisors have slipped forward in their alveoli, and they appear "overgrown," exactly as your photo above. 

 

Overgrown incisors in a non-captive beaver seems unlikely unless the beaver also has one or more broken opposing incisors.  Overgrown incisors often prevent normal occlusion of the molars, causing them to likewise increase in height.  In the photos above, the molars appear normal and not overgrown.  In captive rodents fed only soft foods, the incisors can grow until they pierce the skull, leading to infection and death.

 

I'm not doubting your cause of death determination, but just for the sake of experiment, are you able to carefully slide the upper incisors back into their normal position?  Sometimes it takes a bit of wiggling to get 'em back in place.

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I can't really argue the muskrat/beaver issue other than to say I thought muskrat were smaller.

The teeth only retreat a few mm to the 'ironized' line. It seems possible that someone released a captive raised beaver thinking it would join the locals for the winter.

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