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Heteromorph

A few weeks ago I was working an exposure of the middle Turonian Kamp Ranch member of the Arcadia Park Formation in North Texas, using a chisel and the natural bedding planes to pull up slabs. I had been there less than 15 minutes and had only found one small, broken tooth amongst shell hash when I found this almost perfect medium sized Cretodus crassidens. I also found some smaller shark teeth including Ptychodus sp., miscellaneous vertebrate material, and ammonites of possibly multiple species. So far this specimen is my largest from the site 

 

The first thing I noticed about it was the white color of most of the enamel and strange patterns covering the exposed tooth. It looked like it had been recently exposed and weathered, but since it was only exposed by me pulling up slabs that is not possible. All the other teeth I found there didn’t have this type of preservation but had the normal brown enamel. I have searched for pictures of any other teeth with patterns like this, but so far nothing. 

 

I prepared it out of the rock and can see that the patterns occur on both the front and back of the blade and root. It is 35 mm diagonal and 25 mm root width. It was resting just a few millimeters above a large inoceramid shell. The tooth is perfect except that the tip of the left cusp broke off before fossilization. There are certain areas where the blade isn’t white and there are no patterns, but for the most part the pattern covers the tooth. I was also able to rub off a bit of the white with my finger, but it seems that the patterns are embedded in the tooth itself since it is also on the root. 

 

Here are some pictures. I am hoping the origin of these patterns can be explained and any links and/or pictures of other teeth like this can be provided. The first three are before prep and the rest are after. Thanks in advance! 

 

30336822-7B91-41E9-AFC9-5F4E7A10D7D6.thumb.jpeg.2b11c2fa30ac1b074c80ee614658c386.jpeg

FIG 1.

 

753785BE-37A1-4FD4-B513-1441C74D0A10.thumb.jpeg.a476de04c900e4ea5b209887f6244b69.jpeg

FIG 2.

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Heteromorph

954556C8-ED99-4F38-8B34-93297A285040.thumb.jpeg.d59e72c2fe33d9ad86a8b0dcbe259058.jpeg

FIG 3.

 

271DA29C-E041-4047-98AE-072F3914FC93.thumb.jpeg.124b805106f91e4d8b80f933a6cee0a6.jpeg

FIG 4.

 

BB36CDF1-0450-43A2-83AC-26D87F6648D0.thumb.jpeg.7e17dd2da4ef0007d955195e96931049.jpeg

FIG 5.

 

E245AF7A-5677-4D5F-B102-2C1B755025C8.thumb.jpeg.20fb11637733b51ab8970cb79bb39193.jpeg

FIG 6.

 

E054D0EE-853D-4FFC-8D36-E5C2292100C3.thumb.jpeg.6ff7043b641822a82d831098c29a748a.jpeg

FIG 7.

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Heteromorph

F1FB69F9-CEB5-4937-881B-B85748179E7D.thumb.jpeg.02304d182b6b0677d79cf5b03be5495b.jpeg

FIG 8.

 

C398E0E9-F1BA-4B34-BC15-EC5C07EBDF29.thumb.jpeg.a51abdda14d56b779711e24575ae3257.jpeg

FIG 9.

 

69DF98CD-9896-4804-95F8-FE66EA7577A2.thumb.jpeg.141f468eb829effc71e64eec6c93bbd9.jpeg

FIG 10.

 

187F9B68-C90B-4EBC-B33F-358462B1E70B.thumb.jpeg.8f7d3039f1536f160aaeead01cf0da9e.jpeg

FIG 11.

 

C0049377-880A-4FA8-825D-76C440DA205A.thumb.jpeg.985394de99c0b182f57f3ce23c30e732.jpeg

FIG 12.

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Heteromorph

FE30EC74-E352-48E9-91CB-672A74DBCA58.thumb.jpeg.c402c281721dc8bcec3c6bbb1851318d.jpeg

FIG 13.

 

4CFCF08C-DB86-490F-A16F-0BE2A44F26AC.thumb.jpeg.edff29afb79925a6ae82fadf695dbddf.jpeg

FIG 14.

 

47F249A6-2F25-4ED3-A620-265774C6B5A5.jpeg.d634d93b7d67d8cd53b1a705432cc986.jpeg

FIG 15.

 

6C320FFA-7CE5-4EEA-83C2-516CAC978928.thumb.jpeg.dfcd251d3a07c3cd24a98886bf3c617e.jpeg

FIG 16.

 

D6CFEAF6-E8F3-4C20-A268-D8FEB6CE3925.thumb.jpeg.71bb55d48a208e59395cd0005241c88c.jpeg

FIG 17.

 

A7889E53-538E-42B0-B72B-AD336C85D1D0.thumb.jpeg.44bb1bf3b553fa749ba6b79d47b03f66.jpeg

FIG 18.

 

Done! 

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The Jersey Devil

Interesting tooth. It seems to me that the pattern/corrosion on the crown and root occurred because of digestion (it would also make sense that it is on both the crown and the root). The tooth was probably softened by the shark's enzymes after it was swallowed (it was likely digested by the shark itself) and the lines/grooves may have formed after stomach contents scraped against it. I have not seen this exact pattern before, but some NJ Cretaceous teeth do show digestion.

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Fossildude19

What a gnarly tooth!

Very cool looking! :) 

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Darktooth

Very interesting!  

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goatinformationist

Super interesting; what a character.

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The Jersey Devil
52 minutes ago, MarcoSr said:

I see a good number of teeth that look like your tooth in a very hard layer in the Eocene of Virginia.  The teeth are funky and usually white colored like your tooth.  I believe ground water penetration produced the hard layer and caused the teeth to get that way from minerals that leached out.

 

Marco Sr.

 

That's a better explanation for the marks. I'm guessing that the groundwater affects only some teeth because it gathers only where the matrix is denser.

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WhodamanHD

Reminds me of lightning strikes, when a acid from a plant root leeches minerals. 

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PFOOLEY
13 hours ago, Heteromorph said:

...and ammonites of possibly multiple species...

:popcorn:

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