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Uncle Siphuncle

A Spineless Mammoth Tusk

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Uncle Siphuncle
39 minutes ago, KimTexan said:

Very cool find. Too bad you didn’t have electricity and couldn’t put a couple fans and heaters on the thing. Good summer Texas sun and heat would have done it wonders, but then you couldn’t wait that long.

I keep my eyes down in the bed most of the time, or on the red layer. Guess I need to look up some too. I have never seen anything in the upper layer when I have looked though.

Hum, Pleistocene, that may be the answer to a fossil ID post I just made about something I found yesterday in the NSR.

On the smaller tusks and various bones and teeth I’ve hauled home, I’ve found that accelerated drying sets up stresses that exacerbate cracking.  Given the luxury of bench prep on Pleisto vert stuff, I tend to allow natural, slow drying, arresting cracks twice a day with superglue, then immerse in thin Butvar solution before fully dry (and fully cracked) at perhaps the 2 day mark, then allow several more days fo full drying, finally wiping off any white, moisture-induced haze with a shot of pure acetone.

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KimTexan
1 minute ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

On the smaller tusks and various bones and teeth I’ve hauled home, I’ve found that accelerated drying sets up stresses that exacerbate cracking.  Given the luxury of bench prep on Pleisto vert stuff, I tend to allow natural, slow drying, arresting cracks twice a day with superglue, then immerse in thin Butvar solution before fully dry (and fully cracked) at perhaps the 2 day mark, then allow several more days fo full drying, finally wiping off any white, moisture-induced haze with a shot of pure acetone.

I get that, but would it have been better to cracked tusk vs tusk soup? Of course in that state it may have ended up as tusk dust if dried too quickly.

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-AnThOnY-
1 hour ago, KimTexan said:

Very cool find. Too bad you didn’t have electricity and couldn’t put a couple fans and heaters on the thing. Good summer Texas sun and heat would have done it wonders, but then you couldn’t wait that long.

I keep my eyes down in the bed most of the time, or on the red layer. Guess I need to look up some too. I have never seen anything in the upper layer when I have looked though.

Hum, Pleistocene, that may be the answer to a fossil ID post I just made about something I found yesterday in the NSR.

 

I'm not sure drying would have helped keep it together though, unfortunately. What seems to have happened is that all of the concentric rings that make up the tusk, over time, probably grew and shrank with the clay (drought/flood cycles) which caused each ring to fracture. When it moved all of those fractures basically made it a fluid flow of tusk fragments. Any damage in the tusk was just spilling its guts. Bottom line, at 300+ pounds it needed to be completely and entirely immobile, which the plaster jacket didn't provide enough of that (probably partly at my fault)

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Coco

Great find and big work !

 

Coco

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John S.

This is so awesome. Worth it for the amazing pictures alone:mammoth::envy:

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HoppeHunting

In all seriousness, this is one of the coolest things I've seen since joining the forum. Beyond spectacular find.

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Uncle Siphuncle
2 hours ago, John S. said:

This is so awesome. Worth it for the amazing pictures alone:mammoth::envy:

Agreed, John.  A good montage of photos was my personal best hope once we noted the compromised condition of this thing.  Could be my biggest vert find ever, and now it is a matter of public record.  Still, I wish this one was dominating a whole room at Anthony’s house.

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Uncle Siphuncle
2 hours ago, HoppeHunting said:

In all seriousness, this is one of the coolest things I've seen since joining the forum. Beyond spectacular find.

Other Texans have found whole tusks too, with a few faring much better than this one.

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Phevo
11 hours ago, -AnThOnY- said:

 

I'm not sure drying would have helped keep it together though, unfortunately. What seems to have happened is that all of the concentric rings that make up the tusk, over time, probably grew and shrank with the clay (drought/flood cycles) which caused each ring to fracture. When it moved all of those fractures basically made it a fluid flow of tusk fragments. Any damage in the tusk was just spilling its guts. Bottom line, at 300+ pounds it needed to be completely and entirely immobile, which the plaster jacket didn't provide enough of that (probably partly at my fault)

 

Clay is considered impermeable, and thus always considered to be saturated with water, so drought/flood cycles shoulden't have effected it in that manner, once exposed or close enough to the weathering layer it is a different story though

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Xiphactinus
18 hours ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Given infinite time, no competition, and budget for a 55 gallon drum of Paleo Bond, I’d say expose the whole length on a narrow pedestal, squeege the exposed surface immaculate, let it thoroughly dry full cross section, turn off the rain from the heavens, then carefully saturate the entire thing with Paleo Bond, taking care not to foul the surface.  Jacket.  Bond lumber superstructure to jacket to lock out any and all axial, flexural, and torsional degrees of freedom and resulting deflections in response to shifting quasistatic and shock loads inherent to handling.  Simple, right?

Piece of cake!

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nimbus

Very neat find.

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MeargleSchmeargl

Maybe call up a paleontologist to help? May be able to salvage this majestic tusk! :mammoth:

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Uncle Siphuncle
14 minutes ago, MeargleSchmeargl said:

Maybe call up a paleontologist to help? May be able to salvage this majestic tusk! :mammoth:

I gave buddies first right of refusal.  If no takers, I would have contacted academia.  My main objective was to leave my back out of this job, ha!  Academia is welcome to my next mush tusk.  But anything solid might not be that quick a handoff. 

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Max-fossils

What an amazing find!!! :faint:

 

Shame though that it's so fragile...

 

VFOTM entry? 

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Uncle Siphuncle
56 minutes ago, Max-fossils said:

What an amazing find!!! :faint:

 

Shame though that it's so fragile...

 

VFOTM entry? 

Nah...this one was booby trapped by Ma' Nature, and its splendor slipped between our fingers like sand.

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MeargleSchmeargl
6 hours ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

I gave buddies first right of refusal.  If no takers, I would have contacted academia.  My main objective was to leave my back out of this job, ha!  Academia is welcome to my next mush tusk.  But anything solid might not be that quick a handoff. 

"Welcome to my mush tusk" Like you find big ol' mammoth tusks every day. :P

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Uncle Siphuncle
1 hour ago, MeargleSchmeargl said:

"Welcome to my mush tusk" Like you find big ol' mammoth tusks every day. :P

Much more fun when more solid.  I have 6 or 8 full rounds 10-60 lbs.  Nice when they are portable and stable enough to ride on my back seat all the way home.  No more mush tusks for me!  

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dalmayshun

spectacular find, so glad you took the photos and then shared the whole story...

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jpc
On 3/12/2018 at 1:58 PM, -AnThOnY- said:

 

It had been exposed for most of a week to dry some when most of the butvar was applied. I agree though, when even slightly damp, the butvar tends to precipitate out on the surface and not quite penetrate.

 

U of C? Mississippi State ;) 

Mississippi State?, but they are Bulldogs.  University of Chicago, whose Div 3 sports teams are actually called Maroons.  

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-AnThOnY-

 

5 minutes ago, jpc said:

Mississippi State?, but they are Bulldogs.  University of Chicago, whose Div 3 sports teams are actually called Maroons.  

 

'True Maroon' is their slogan more of less. Similar to Texas AM as well. 

Interesting, I don't recall knowing that there was an actual Maroon team name.

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sixgill pete

Amazing find Dan. Just awful that it is in such shape as to make it so hard to possibly collect. 

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Uncle Siphuncle
1 hour ago, sixgill pete said:

Amazing find Dan. Just awful that it is in such shape as to make it so hard to possibly collect. 

Thanks.  A fun snapshot in time.  But I didn't let it break my stride in finding other cool stuff!

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WhodamanHD

An awesome find! I hadn’t heard of the sulfur river having Pleistocene! Shame about the mushiness, but a tusks a tusk.

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Uncle Siphuncle
On 3/14/2018 at 4:50 PM, WhodamanHD said:

An awesome find! I hadn’t heard of the sulfur river having Pleistocene! Shame about the mushiness, but a tusks a tusk.

Ordinarily I lack candor regarding such pinpoint particulars, but so many people walked by this thing in progress that we couldn’t keep a lid on it.

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Plantguy

Enjoyed seeing the pics of that dang thing. Crazy find...mush or no mush. I wont be surprised when you show us another better preserved one that you all have successfully extracted. Thanks for sharing the adventure! 

 

Regards, Chris 

 

 

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