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Paleoworld-101

Mammal Tooth for ID

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Paleoworld-101

I picked up this tooth from Bouldnor Beach on the Isle of Wight in the UK a couple of years ago. It is from the Bouldnor Formation and is earliest Oligocene, about 33 million years old. I'm confident it comes from a mammal of some kind, a rooted canine but that's as far as i've got. 

 

To provide some context the site has produced a number of pig-like anthracotheres (the most common mammals), carnivores like Hyaenodon, entelodonts, early primates like Leptadapis, the rhino-like Ronzotherium, deer-like forms and various others. 

 

Can any of the mammal people offer their thoughts? @Harry Pristis?

 

Unfortunately the crown is almost completely worn away which i know is a huge detriment to identification. It measures 3.8 cm long, but of course would have been longer with the crown intact. 

 

 

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Shellseeker

I know little about fossils in that part of the world, but 90% sure this is a marine mammal, either dolphin or porpoise.  Nice find

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Paleoworld-101
54 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

I know little about fossils in that part of the world, but 90% sure this is a marine mammal, either dolphin or porpoise.  Nice find

Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm i'm not aware of any such fossils coming from this location before, the depositional environment was mainly terrestrial freshwater lakes and wetlands but with some occasional brackish coastal horizons. I'll have to do some literature digging. 

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Shellseeker
52 minutes ago, Paleoworld-101 said:

Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm i'm not aware of any such fossils coming from this location before, the depositional environment was mainly terrestrial freshwater lakes and wetlands but with some occasional brackish coastal horizons. I'll have to do some literature digging. 

You should consider the likelihood that I am incorrect. Hopefully Harry will chime in.

 

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jpc

Bouldner is known for its terrestrial mammals.  If this were a marine bed, yes whale-thing would be good.  But I think it can only be ID'ed as a medium sized mammal canine tooth... well worn.  

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TXV24

Hi @Paleoworld-101,

 

I'm a local collector that specialises in the Bouldnor Fm. This looks like a beach worn canine root (and partial crown) from an anthracothere. These are actually quite uncommon finds along the coast, some trips you can find several and on others you won't find any for months. Isolated molar crowns and roots are much more typical, so it's a fairly lucky find! Based off the wear it's impossible to say which species or genus with any certainty, although considering that the vast majority of mammal material is attributed to Bothriodon, this genus is most likely. Elomeryx and Brachyodus are also possibilities. I'll attach some pictures below of Bothriodon canines from my own collection for reference as some look similar to your specimen. 

 

Hope this helps, 

 

Theo 

 

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TXV24

This is a heavily worn incisor collected this weekend from the foreshore at Hamstead. 

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Paleoworld-101

Thanks for the replies everyone. 

Anthracothere canine makes the most sense. The suggestion of marine mammal might not be quite so crazy though when you consider that anthracotheres are thought to be close to the land ancestors of modern cetaceans. 

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TXV24

@Paleoworld-101 

 

No its definitely not, and you can see some similarities in the canines and root shapes etc. Interestingly the formation isn't entirely a terrestrial freshwater/brackish deposit. There are various marine in-raid beds in the formation, like the Bembridge Oyster Bed, Corbula Bed, and the uppermost Cranmore Member which attest to periods of rapid sea level rise that would have flooded the wetlands. As far as I know lamniform shark remains and marine fish have been found in these horizons, and I know there are even corals from Bouldnor in the collections of Dinosaur Isle, so it isn't totally out of the question that there might be some cetacean material in these marine beds that will be found one day. But you've definitely got yourself a worn anthracothere canine, which despite the battering from the elements is still a very nice find!

 

 

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