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Darktooth

Thanks for sharing this interesting information!:dinothumb:

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ynot

Wonderful news!:thumbsu:

 

All sorts of neat things in that matrix!:faint::wub::wub:

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Coco

Hi,

 

Very interesting ! :popcorn:

 

Coco

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goatinformationist

Glasses, I must buy new glasses.  Thanks for a most interesting item.

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Auspex

Tiny little things can be a really big deal!
Here is where Jeff's unselfish sharing of his magic site is changing what we know.
Kudos to all the players in this unfolding knowledge!

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digit

Yup. Were it not for Jeff being generous with that information science would know a lot less about the fossil shark fauna of Florida. We still try to keep this place a bit dark and under wraps as it has been abused in the past. Many years ago, someone who was not interested in looking for micros but the larger teeth, megs and "makos" that are also found there, took a gasoline powered pump and a hose and was hitting the bank with pressurized water to quickly wash out a large amount of potentially fossil-bearing sediment (and doing enormous damage to the bank). It's this kind of rare senseless behavior that gives fossil hunters a collective bad name. Members of this forum are, by and large, a much more sensible crowd but it still makes sense to be a bit circumspect on the location of this special spot. There is still a lot to learn from this creek and we'd hate the authorities to have to post it off limits.

 

Forum members far and wide have experienced the thrill of hunting Isistius triangulus teeth from this creek without ever visiting it due to the occasional auctions we've had to benefit the forum. It takes me at least a full 8-hour day to make a collection there--6 hours roundtrip driving and a couple of hours of backbreaking shoveling and sifting. More time spent washing and drying the micro-matrix but all totally worth it to see what tiny treasures may be hiding within.

 

If I can get back out there and collect some more micro-matrix a large flat-rate box may appear on a forum auction in the future....;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

P.S.: Since this micro-matrix has been spread far and wide and quite a few TFF members have picked through it, I'd like to open the invitation to anybody to post unusual finds that came from Cookiecutter Creek. Who knows what other novel taxa may be sitting in someone's collection right now that could further science and the fossil faunal picture of Florida.

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Pagurus

Thanks for that informative post, Ken, and for helping to unearth those new finds, figuratively and literally. TFF never ceases to amaze me with the wealth of knowledge and experiences freely shared here. :dinothumb:

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jcbshark

Great write up Ken  and congrats to both you and Tony on the good eye to pick out  those little rarities. Some pretty amazing things have come from there for sure:fistbump:

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RJB

I only learned of the cookiecutter shark about 2 years ago.  A very odd but very cool little shark!  Thanks for the info

 

RB

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sixgill pete

Hi Ken, great write up. Congrats to you on your finds and taking it to UF. That catshark Tony found is amazing. They are an uncommon find in Miocene / Pliocene matrix here in NC. Your Heterodontus is also an amazing find. Don't think I have seen one from the Miocene / Pliocene here in NC. But, I have an Eocene site where they are not unusual to find. I will have to go through my bags of stuff from the matrix I received from Jeff. 

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digit

Thanks. Be sure to let us all know of anything out of the ordinary that you find in the Cookiecutter Creek micro-matrix. We've got a good idea of all of the common species of sharks and rays that can be found in this locality but the rarities take a lot of picking through gallons of micro-matrix before they show up. But, thankfully, just a single occurrence of a distinctive unusual tooth is enough to expand the list of taxa represented in this special little creek.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Al Dente
28 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

Your Heterodontus is also an amazing find. Don't think I have seen one from the Miocene / Pliocene here in NC

Oligocene is the youngest I'm aware of anywhere around the Atlantic. This Florida tooth would extend the time period for Heterodontus in the Atlantic quite a bit.

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digit

Even cooler!

 

Do you have any references to Heterodontus in the Atlantic? For obvious reasons I'm keen on learning more about this genus.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Al Dente
22 minutes ago, digit said:

Even cooler!

 

Do you have any references to Heterodontus in the Atlantic? For obvious reasons I'm keen on learning more about this genus.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Earlier today I was looking at a few online and pdf references and didn’t see any occurrences younger than Oligocene for the US and Europe. I just did a Google Scholar search and found that they survived longer in the Caribbean and south Atlantic, at least to the late Miocene. 

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ynot

What confuses Me is - the heterodontus are a shallow water species while cookie cutters are a deep water species.

What are their teeth doing in the same deposit?

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digit

Cookiecutters spend a good portion of their time at depth but apparently make daily migrations to shallower waters to feed (at least the extant species do this). I guess it is possible that tooth shedding may be happening during the shallower water feeding phase and that might explain why we are finding these teeth in the landlocked Cookiecutter Creek and not someplace like the deeper water "meg ledges" (80-120 feet current depth) that were likely even deeper in the past. I don't know that anybody has spent limited (and expensive) underwater time on these meg tooth dives to collect micro-matrix. I'm not even sure there is a dense enough gravel bed to contain micro-matrix where these dives focus on collecting. Would be really interesting to look through any micro-matrix that could be collected from such a location to see what micros might be found.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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MarcoSr
On 3/12/2018 at 6:45 PM, digit said:

Today, there are no species from this family inhabiting the Atlantic (or the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico regions). Devoid of any factual information but attempting a modestly educated guess, I'm thinking that one of the species of Bullhead Sharks must have extended over into the waters surrounding Florida some time before the Isthmus of Panama formed some 2.8 mya separating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and separating the fauna on either side to either develop into distinct species (or to go extinct regionally). Since this family is not currently known from the Atlantic (eastern or western extents) it seems more reasonable to assume that the Florida specimen derived from an eastern Pacific species given the (geologically) recent connection to those waters. Fun to speculate and if Marco Sr @MarcoSr has jaw samples of extant eastern Pacific members of this family, perhaps a better comparison to the anterior teeth might be possible.

 

 

Ken

 

I hadn't really noticed before ( I had to check a number of books that I have on extant sharks) that none of the 9 named extant Heterodontus species are presently found in the Atlantic Ocean (or the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico regions).  That is really interesting.

 

Unfortunately, I only have jaws of 2 of the 9 species, horn shark (Heterodontus francisci) and zebra bullhead shark  (Heterodontus zebra) and have not taken pictures of the teeth.  You really would need representative jaws from all 9 species to compare your tooth to.  You will not find many pictures of the teeth of the different extant Heterodontus species.  Remember unlike fossil shark species which were named based upon teeth, extant shark species were named based upon external characteristics like size, head shape, color, number of gills, number, shape, and location of fins etc.  Therefore most publications on the extant sharks, at best, give line drawings of a representative upper and lower tooth usually which are really useless for trying to distinguish species within a genus.  Some publications show poor pictures of actual upper and lower teeth.  Carcharhinus have a number of publications that show the upper and lower dentitions with line drawings that are a little more helpful in identifying Carcharhinus teeth to a species.  The problem even with these is the wide variation of tooth features within each Carcharhinus species and the overlap of similar tooth features among the different Carcharhinus species.

 

So you really would need to find a museum that had a really good collection of extant Heterodontus jaws of all or most of the 9 species to compare your tooth to.  You might check out the extant shark jaw collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History

 

 

Marco Sr.

 

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Coco

Hi,

 

I have an Heterodontus portusjacksoni jaw but I don't know if it is easy to do pic of teeth... Do you need it ?

 

Coco

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digit

Thanks, Coco--I really wanted to try to compare the tooth from Cookiecutter Creek with the nearest eastern Pacific species to see which it most resembles. Those candidates are: Californian Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci), the Galapagos Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus quoyi), and the Mexican Hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus) with H. mexicanus possibly having the closest present day distribution to Panama.

 

Given the post above from @Al Dente I started to do a bit more online searching and a simple search for "Heterodontus fossil" let to the Elasmo.com website with an interesting page on the genus:

 

http://www.elasmo.com/frameMe.html?file=genera/cenozoic/sharks/heterodontus.html&menu=bin/menu_genera-alt.html

 

From a quick read of the above web page it looks Heterodontus is known from the Late Cretaceous in the Gulf of Mexico (mainly further west around Texas). They appear a bit more recently in the Paleocene from both the Aquia Formation in Maryland and the Nanjemoy Formation in Virginia extending a bit more recently into the Eocene (Ypresian age) in the latter. Then there are reports from North Carolina in the Castle Hayne Formation (Eocene) particularly from Sequence 2 (Lutetian)--still some 42 Ma. It appears that after the Eocene the fossil record for this genus begins to disappear with the last known examples being from the Oligocene: Old Church Formation in Virginia and Trent Formation in North Carolina.

 

It is believed that the Cookiecutter Creek fossil shark teeth are coming from the Tamiami Formation (Late Miocene-Late Pliocene or approximately 13-2.6 Ma) so this would definitely be not only the first appearance in the Florida fossil record but the most recent fossil record for this genus (anywhere?) They are found quite commonly across the country at the famous middle Miocene formation at Shark Tooth Hill in Bakersfield (Round Mountain Silt Member of the Temblor Formation--roughly 16-15 Ma). I have many examples of both the anterior and lateral teeth from this genus from that locality (which is why I recognized this specimen when it popped out of the Cookiecutter Creek micro-matrix).

 

I love digging into things, investigating and learning incrementally more than I did the day before. Extra fun when that learning is triggered by a chance discovery.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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FossilDAWG

Al Dente, beautiful photography! :wub:

 

Don

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digit

Indeed. Quite gorgeous!

 

I've still got some additional Cookiecutter Creek micro-matrix in a bucket in my garage and I've just run a few plastic Solo cups through my stacked sifters. Going to take a relaxing break post-dinner to pick through some more of this magical micro-matrix. Would be stunning if I could pull an anterior Heterodontus tooth from this bucket. If I don't come upon any other rarities from this collection, I still know where the source is--it just takes 6 hours of driving and a few hours of digging and sifting to acquire some more. It was Tony's Scyliorhinidae tooth that rekindled interest in this micro-matrix. Now that I know there are at least two rare taxa to be found here, I'm re-energized to pick through more buckets of this stuff.

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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siteseer
4 hours ago, digit said:

Indeed. Quite gorgeous!

 

I've still got some additional Cookiecutter Creek micro-matrix in a bucket in my garage and I've just run a few plastic Solo cups through my stacked sifters. Going to take a relaxing break post-dinner to pick through some more of this magical micro-matrix. Would be stunning if I could pull an anterior Heterodontus tooth from this bucket. If I don't come upon any other rarities from this collection, I still know where the source is--it just takes 6 hours of driving and a few hours of digging and sifting to acquire some more. It was Tony's Scyliorhinidae tooth that rekindled interest in this micro-matrix. Now that I know there are at least two rare taxa to be found here, I'm re-energized to pick through more buckets of this stuff.

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

Hi Ken,

 

I looked for Tony's original post on that tooth and found it.  I must've been out-of-town when it was getting comments.  I just bumped it with my thoughts which are that it is a Triakis tooth as it is in the size range and follows the shape.  It even looks similar to the Sharktooth Hill Triakis.  Catshark teeth are almost always less than half the size of Tony's tooth with many being 1mm or less.  Triakis would be new to the Florida fossil record.  I don't think the genus lives in the region today.

 

I also see that I need to get back to you on a PM.  

 

Jess

 

 

 

 

 

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digit

I don't know either of those shark families. I tend to learn about fossils in an incremental way by doing research into items as I come across them. As a result my knowledge of fossils tends to be highly personalized and somewhat random. Tony is going to send his tooth over to me and I'm going to deliver that tooth as well as my recent Heterodontus tooth to the FLMNH when I go up there soon.

 

Cheers.

 

 

-Ken

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