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HoppeHunting

Unusual Miocene Odontocete Tooth

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HoppeHunting

Hi,

 

This tooth was found at Bayfront Park/Brownies Beach, which is Calvert Formation (~18-22 MYA). It is clearly from an odontocete, but it is unlike any other I've found from this location, or anywhere for that matter. The crown is not perfectly conical, instead having a rather wide appearance. But what really makes this tooth so odd is the root. It is flattened and bumpy, while most odontocete teeth have long, smooth roots like those of human teeth (this obviously makes sense, as they are both mammals). The fossil is about 3/4" from the tip of the crown to the bottom of the root. If you look closely (it may be difficult to see in the pictures provided), it almost looks like the tooth is encased within the root, and could be pulled out. This at first led me to consider the possibility that the strange flat part may actually just be matrix and the fossil is just a typical odontocete tooth not fully uncovered. However, after further inspection I am confident that everything is fossilized and the entire fossil is a single tooth. So now the only questions are what animal did this tooth belong to and why is it so unusual in appearance? I am certainly hoping that it may be a small Squalodon tooth because I've never found one and I think they're just awesome. Any information is appreciated, as always. Thank you!

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WhodamanHD

It looks like a worn squali to me (especially in the first picture) but I’ve never found one. Perhaps someone else may be more certain. 

 

@Boesse is an expert on fossil cetaceans.

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caldigger

The OP's tooth looks to be more dolphin sized from the pictures...unless he uses incredibly huge tweezers. :P

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Shellseeker
3 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Odontocete teeth don’t grow but the cementum around the root on some teeth will continue to grow as the animal ages. Some odontocete teeth will have a very thick appearance due to the cementum. Many fossil teeth we find are missing this cementum layer because it easily flakes or abrades off.

In my experience, we have few dolphin teeth that fit this appearance in Florida's Peace River, maybe the layer has eroded.  Is there a specific species identification?

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Shellseeker
2 hours ago, SailingAlongToo said:

 

This is what @Boesse said in his  2/16/17, post about @Daleksec's teeth pictured above in my post from last night.

 

 "The teeth are unusual for the Calvert Fm. (if that's where this is from) and are typical of iniid and platanistid dolphins like Goniodelphis and Pomatodelphis."

 

Cheers,

SA2

Thanks for the identification. 

I have been recently finding some (3) Pomatodelphis .sp periotics, but (so far) no dolphin teeth at all. 

RiverDolphinPeriotics.JPG.24f3c0c362b6bafa01aa7dce2c51916d.JPG

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ynot
6 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

but (so far) no dolphin teeth at all. 

Most that I have seen would fall through a 1/4 inch screen. Have to look through the micro matrix to find them (in any quantity).

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SailingAlongToo
24 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

Thanks for the identification. 

I have been recently finding some (3) Pomatodelphis .sp periotics, but (so far) no dolphin teeth at all. 

RiverDolphinPeriotics.JPG.24f3c0c362b6bafa01aa7dce2c51916d.JPG

 

Kinky little periotics, aren't they? Definitely haven't seen anything like them around here.

 

@Carl O'Cles have you got any in your collection that resemble these?

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FossilsAnonymous

@HoppeHunting I don't know how I missed this thread! I have found a few worn odontocedete teeth from my area and they seem different. I am going to have to go on the Dolphin side of things. Cool and unusual!

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Carl O'Cles
6 hours ago, SailingAlongToo said:

 

Kinky little periotics, aren't they? Definitely haven't seen anything like them around here.

 

@Carl O'Cles have you got any in your collection that resemble these?

Yes I do have some that look like that.  Some from around here.  Can't say they are from the Calvert.

 

With everything 1700 miles away.  I can't look for sure to see if they match.  Earbones can be very similar.  

 

100% have teeth like the one in the OP.

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Daleksec

My dolphin was identified as Schizodelphis Sp. based on the humerus.

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Boesse

The tooth posted above is probably a eurhinodelphinid tooth. The two periotics posted above are the same taxon as the large unnamed kogiid sperm whale from the Yorktown Fm. at Lee Creek.

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SailingAlongToo
2 hours ago, Boesse said:

The tooth posted above is probably a eurhinodelphinid tooth. The two periotics posted above are the same taxon as the large unnamed kogiid sperm whale from the Yorktown Fm. at Lee Creek.

 

Sounds like a new paper subject for you. :)

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