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BenWorrell

Iowa Mandible (Deer?)

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BenWorrell

Hello!

 

I found this mandible yesterday in a creek in Linn County, IA. It reminds me of a modern whitetail deer, but I'm not sure. One thing that stands out to me is that the middle tooth has three labial lobes. I have a modern whitetail doe adult to compare it too (see last picture), but only the end tooth has three labial lobes. Does that mean this isn't a whitetail deer or is that normal genetic variation?  

 

Total length of mandible (broken): 83 mm

Thickness of mandible: 19 mm

Width of tallest tooth: 20 mm

Thickness of tallest tooth: 9.4 mm

 

Thanks!

 

@Harry Pristis 

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fossillarry

it's a jaw fragment from a juvenile deer. the teeth are deciduous premolars 3and 4 and molar 1.

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BenWorrell

Thanks @fossillarry!

 

I managed to find a very similar modern deer jaw fragment for comparison (photos below) and you are right, the last premolar does have 3 lobes.

 

Is it possible to distinguish whitetail deer from say mule deer or elk? The tooth with 3 lobes on the modern deer is about 17mm wide and the tooth with 3 lobes on the fossil piece is about 24mm wide. 

 

Does anyone have a yearling mule deer to compare to?

 

Thanks,

Ben

 

 

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