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ursamajor

Hi everyone and Merry Christmas!

So yesterday I got a mosasaurus tooth from my brother. He bought it in Germany for few euros. I was shocked because i thought that things like that cost thousands euros! Is it possible that this tooth is real??? I'm really happy that I got it but I just can't believe it's real :( I'm sending you guys pictures of this tooth, please tell me what you think!

And again, Merry Christmas everyone!

(It's first time when I'm using forum so sorry if I did something wrong!!)

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TyBoy

Yes very real probably comes from the Cretaceous of Morocco.

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ursamajor
5 minutes ago, TyBoy said:

Yes very real probably comes from the Cretaceous of Morocco.

Oh my god you really thinks so??? i thought its impossible for it to be so cheap! Can you tell me why dinosaurs teeth are so cheap??

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LordTrilobite

Yup a real Mosasaur tooth from Khouribga, Morocco. These kinds of teeth are pretty cool but also quite common and such as quite easy to acquire.

Mosasaurs are not dinosaurs though. They are aquatic lizards.

Some dinosaur teeth like those of Spinosaurs are also fairly easy to get and aren't that expensive. But many other dinosaur teeth can get quite expensive if they are of nice quality of rare.

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Runner64
34 minutes ago, ursamajor said:

 Can you tell me why dinosaurs teeth are so cheap??

All has to do with supply and demand :D dinosaurs like Carchardontosaurus, triceratops, Spinosaurus, and Edmontosaurus have really cheap teeth and can be found very cheap compared to lots of fossils.

Like @LordTrilobite said, some teeth get very expensive the better quality and rarer the tooth is. For T-Rex teeth, the average price is about 1000 usd for 1 inch of complete tooth. Crazy expensive! :D 

 

I really like your Mosasaurus tooth and there is without a doubt it is real :) enjoy it!

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Macrophyseter
1 hour ago, ursamajor said:

Oh my god you really thinks so??? i thought its impossible for it to be so cheap! Can you tell me why dinosaurs teeth are so cheap??

I remember back when I was a little kid people always told me that every fossil is expensive, and that anything that is easily affordable is obviously a fake. However, this is not always true. Most people do get the impression that fossils are naturally expensive, but that's only because they've seen the ones that are actually expensive- whole body fossils and fossils of iconic and rare species. But there are plenty of fossils that are relatively inexpensive and super easy to buy as they are very easy to recover.

 

The mosasaur tooth you show is among the more common fossils coming out of just one of the massive fossil-mining industry from Morocco (I've heard that some towns there rely completely on fossil mining as an economy). Because they are so common, they are sold for relatively cheap prices- I've seen smaller teeth be sold for as low as 2 dollars (1.75 euros). Shark teeth, fish teeth, small trilobites, heck even teeth of dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Carcharodontosaurus, Rebbachisaurus, and Dromaeosaurids are sold at affordable prices, although not as low as mosasaur teeth. In the end, it's all because they are common fossils. Heck, you can get a whole fish fossil (or many) of the genus Knightia from Wyoming at an easy price right now.

 

How cheap or expensive a fossil gets also depends on the quality and type of fossil. Small, individual teeth of common species can be bought with mere euros while more rarer pieces such as jaws and partial skeletons would be the ones to range in the thousands of euros, even if they are the same common species. A more complete tooth is also worth more than a partial or even sort of worn tooth. A good-sized megalodon tooth that's been slightly worn down or have enamel peeled off would be very easy to afford, while "six-inchers" (15+ cm) that have minimal damage and are serrated go for the hundreds to thousands. Location also matters as well, a megalodon tooth from the famed nursery sites of the Southeastern United States are much cheaper than rarer ones from Africa or Asia. Same goes for mosasaur teeth, localities that seldom go into the market such as America and Asia are sold for a bit or a lot more than Moroccan teeth.

 

The only fossil I can think of that breaks some of these rules would be Tyrannosaurus rex, but I guess it's understandable since it's literally the dinosaur of dinosaurs and would make quite a big buck because it's so iconic despite not being as rare as some other fossils.

 

(Everything I just said is based on my personal experience, which might be different to others. But what's not going to change is that there are many, many fossils that are super easy to afford)

Your mosasaur tooth is a pretty good-sized one and is very real. If you ever get into the fossil collecting craze, a tooth like that is always a great starter.

Merry Christmas :)

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ursamajor
16 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

I remember back when I was a little kid people always told me that every fossil is expensive, and that anything that is easily affordable is obviously a fake. However, this is not always true. Most people do get the impression that fossils are naturally expensive, but that's only because they've seen the ones that are actually expensive- whole body fossils and fossils of iconic and rare species. But there are plenty of fossils that are relatively inexpensive and super easy to buy as they are very easy to recover.

 

The mosasaur tooth you show is among the more common fossils coming out of just one of the massive fossil-mining industry from Morocco (I've heard that some towns there rely completely on fossil mining as an economy). Because they are so common, they are sold for relatively cheap prices- I've seen smaller teeth be sold for as low as 2 dollars (1.75 euros). Shark teeth, fish teeth, small trilobites, heck even teeth of dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Carcharodontosaurus, Rebbachisaurus, and Dromaeosaurids are sold at affordable prices, although not as low as mosasaur teeth. In the end, it's all because they are common fossils. Heck, you can get a whole fish fossil (or many) of the genus Knightia from Wyoming at an easy price right now.

 

How cheap or expensive a fossil gets also depends on the quality and type of fossil. Small, individual teeth of common species can be bought with mere euros while more rarer pieces such as jaws and partial skeletons would be the ones to range in the thousands of euros, even if they are the same common species. A more complete tooth is also worth more than a partial or even sort of worn tooth. A good-sized megalodon tooth that's been slightly worn down or have enamel peeled off would be very easy to afford, while "six-inchers" (15+ cm) that have minimal damage and are serrated go for the hundreds to thousands. Location also matters as well, a megalodon tooth from the famed nursery sites of the Southeastern United States are much cheaper than rarer ones from Africa or Asia. Same goes for mosasaur teeth, localities that seldom go into the market such as America and Asia are sold for a bit or a lot more than Moroccan teeth.

 

The only fossil I can think of that breaks some of these rules would be Tyrannosaurus rex, but I guess it's understandable since it's literally the dinosaur of dinosaurs and would make quite a big buck because it's so iconic despite not being as rare as some other fossils.

 

(Everything I just said is based on my personal experience, which might be different to others. But what's not going to change is that there are many, many fossils that are super easy to afford)

Your mosasaur tooth is a pretty good-sized one and is very real. If you ever get into the fossil collecting craze, a tooth like that is always a great starter.

Merry Christmas :)

Thank you so so much for your long reply!! Now I understand it all way better :) I guess I will start buying fossils now that I know I can afford it! :D

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Aurelius

To this day, my mum tells me that every single fossil I buy must be a fake. Even when I find them myself, she sometimes looks skeptical!

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Macrophyseter
5 minutes ago, ursamajor said:

Thank you so so much for your long reply!! Now I understand it all way better :) I guess I will start buying fossils now that I know I can afford it! :D

I also forgot to mention about fake fossils. (Here, I'm defining a fake as any fabrication passed off as a real fossil. I don't count replicas as they are usually labeled accordingly) Usually, it's more expensive to fake a common fossil than to just sell a real one, so usually you'd only find fakes when dealing with rarer fossils. While fossils from America and Europe are seldom faked (based on my experience, but again, others might differ based on their experience), fakes are rampant in localities such as China. Watch out for fossils like these:

 

Related image

 

While real fossils of the above are accessible and circulating, such are also are drowned with thousands of fakes, and Chinese fabricators are getting better and better at making their fakes look real. Even honest sellers might be fooled into selling a fake they believed was real, it's quite common when it comes to Chinese fossils. I don't believe price is a reliable way of differentiating real or fake in these situations as reals and fakes seem to be sold for similar prices, just remember to check with the experts on the forum if you are looking to buy fossils from areas like Asia or South America. Another locality to watch out for is also Morocco itself, although here faking (actually called compositing as Moroccans simply mix-and-match unrelated real fossils to make a whole different one) only involves larger fossils and are easy to spot, sometimes too obvious to fool. Mosasaur "jaws" like these:

 

Image result for mosasaur jaw

 

Are a common example of composite "fake" fossils. The teeth are 100% real, but the "jaw bones" are merely a mixture of various fossil bones and plaster shaped like a mosasaur jaw (which doesn't even look realistic anyways). Here's a legitimate mosasaur jaw in comparison:

 

Related image

 

Still, if composite elements are less obvious, always remember to check with the experts on the forum to verify, but it's not worth the time to verify a small fossil like a dinosaur tooth or individual bone as it's more likely to be real. There is also something called "restoration", which is when a partial fossil (most commonly teeth, especially, especially megalodon teeth) has missing parts professionally reconstructed to make it look complete again. While I treat restored fossils like real fossils, some people don't like them. Usually the best way to look for restoration is to look at the colors- is there a section that weirdly seems suddenly lighter? Does it appear that some parts of the fossil is merely paint on the matrix? However, because restoration is done often professionally, identifying restoration could be much more difficult. However, most sellers will simply tell you if there's a restoration or not. 

 

Also just a random thing to tell you since I'm talking about the fossil trade, it's against the forum rules to directly link-to or endorse commercial seller companies or give appraisals (except inside PMs). Although the forum does have it's own selling and trading sections where confirmed members can buy, sell, and trade with one another, such actions of appraisals and endorsing often degrade the importance of fossils and make them seem like products rather than nature's phenomenons. Besides, anyone has every right to sell a fossil whatever price they want. It's best to say "people usually sell them for around x euros" rather than "they are worth around x euros".

 

Merry Christmas :)

 

 

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Macrophyseter
38 minutes ago, Aurelius said:

To this day, my mum tells me that every single fossil I buy must be a fake. Even when I find them myself, she sometimes looks skeptical!

To second you. My parents always used to think that the fossils I buy are fake until I manged to prove to them their authenticity. Now they alternatively have the skepticism of whether or not whatever I buy/find is a fossil or merely a modern bone that somehow got into the ground.

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ursamajor
20 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

I also forgot to mention about fake fossils. (Here, I'm defining a fake as any fabrication passed off as a real fossil. I don't count replicas as they are usually labeled accordingly) Usually, it's more expensive to fake a common fossil than to just sell a real one, so usually you'd only find fakes when dealing with rarer fossils. While fossils from America and Europe are seldom faked (based on my experience, but again, others might differ based on their experience), fakes are rampant in localities such as China. Watch out for fossils like these:

 

Related image

 

While real fossils of the above are accessible and circulating, such are also are drowned with thousands of fakes, and Chinese fabricators are getting better and better at making their fakes look real. Even honest sellers might be fooled into selling a fake they believed was real, it's quite common when it comes to Chinese fossils. I don't believe price is a reliable way of differentiating real or fake in these situations as reals and fakes seem to be sold for similar prices, just remember to check with the experts on the forum if you are looking to buy fossils from areas like Asia or South America. Another locality to watch out for is also Morocco itself, although here faking (actually called compositing as Moroccans simply mix-and-match unrelated real fossils to make a whole different one) only involves larger fossils and are easy to spot, sometimes too obvious to fool. Mosasaur "jaws" like these:

 

Image result for mosasaur jaw

 

Are a common example of composite "fake" fossils. The teeth are 100% real, but the "jaw bones" are merely a mixture of various fossil bones and plaster shaped like a mosasaur jaw (which doesn't even look realistic anyways). Here's a legitimate mosasaur jaw in comparison:

 

Related image

 

Still, if composite elements are less obvious, always remember to check with the experts on the forum to verify, but it's not worth the time to verify a small fossil like a dinosaur tooth or individual bone as it's more likely to be real. There is also something called "restoration", which is when a partial fossil (most commonly teeth, especially, especially megalodon teeth) has missing parts professionally reconstructed to make it look complete again. While I treat restored fossils like real fossils, some people don't like them. Usually the best way to look for restoration is to look at the colors- is there a section that weirdly seems suddenly lighter? Does it appear that some parts of the fossil is merely paint on the matrix? However, because restoration is done often professionally, identifying restoration could be much more difficult. However, most sellers will simply tell you if there's a restoration or not. 

 

Also just a random thing to tell you since I'm talking about the fossil trade, it's against the forum rules to directly link-to or endorse commercial seller companies or give appraisals (except inside PMs). Although the forum does have it's own selling and trading sections where confirmed members can buy, sell, and trade with one another, such actions of appraisals and endorsing often degrade the importance of fossils and make them seem like products rather than nature's phenomenons. Besides, anyone has every right to sell a fossil whatever price they want. It's best to say "people usually sell them for around x euros" rather than "they are worth around x euros".

 

Merry Christmas :)

 

 

Thank you for telling me this!! It's all really helpful, I'll for sure pay attention to this all while buying fossils. Once again, thank you so much and Merry Christmas! :)

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ynot
56 minutes ago, ursamajor said:

I'll for sure pay attention to this all while buying fossils.

When in doubt, post pictures on TFF for an honest opinion on the fossils authenticity,  quality and rarity.

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ursamajor

Thank you so much for advice!

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ynot
3 minutes ago, ursamajor said:

Thank you so much for advice!

One more tidbit You should keep in mind...

Many fossils on the web are incorrectly identified

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Aurelius
2 hours ago, Macrophyseter said:

I also forgot to mention about fake fossils. (Here, I'm defining a fake as any fabrication passed off as a real fossil. I don't count replicas as they are usually labeled accordingly) Usually, it's more expensive to fake a common fossil than to just sell a real one, so usually you'd only find fakes when dealing with rarer fossils. While fossils from America and Europe are seldom faked (based on my experience, but again, others might differ based on their experience), fakes are rampant in localities such as China. Watch out for fossils like these:

 

Related image

 

While real fossils of the above are accessible and circulating, such are also are drowned with thousands of fakes, and Chinese fabricators are getting better and better at making their fakes look real. Even honest sellers might be fooled into selling a fake they believed was real, it's quite common when it comes to Chinese fossils. I don't believe price is a reliable way of differentiating real or fake in these situations as reals and fakes seem to be sold for similar prices, just remember to check with the experts on the forum if you are looking to buy fossils from areas like Asia or South America. Another locality to watch out for is also Morocco itself, although here faking (actually called compositing as Moroccans simply mix-and-match unrelated real fossils to make a whole different one) only involves larger fossils and are easy to spot, sometimes too obvious to fool. Mosasaur "jaws" like these:

 

I don't like to go into this again - but most of these aren't fake. Many are just retouched or composited.  The one you picture there looks genuine, although obviously I'd need to see larger images to be sure. EDIT: I just looked at the photo close up, and the front of the skull looks to be painted. But it looks mostly real.

 

 

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Pemphix

You can buy those mosa teeth for around 2 - 5 Euros each in nearly all fossil fairs in germany (and i suppose in europe, too) from moroccan traders.

The better and bigger one's cost more...;)

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aplomado

Mosasaur teeth are a fantastic bargain in the fossil world!

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