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Shellseeker

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I have recently been blessed to acquire some excellent Shark Tooth Hill (STH) marine mammal teeth. Not totally happy on not knowing what exactly I have, I am reaching out to STH experts to enhance my knowledge and understanding (but mostly to identify these fossil). One TFF member who has extensive knowledge of STH is @ynot because he sent me matrix and micros from STH. So, Tony please invite other STH enthusiasts to assist here. :1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76:

After spending time looking at the Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses teeth, both fossil and modern, I am confused about a lot of things: Here is one of my teeth to ID: Seems easy, 25 mm Seal molar.... or is it ?

SealMolarTFF.jpg.717876aa835ccd5994ec6443e3848343.jpg

On a $$ForSale website , I see this STH Sea Lion tooth -- molar ? that at 1.25 inches looks the same.. So do Seals and Sea Lions have the same/similar teeth only larger?

5c338ceb627ee_Allodesmuskernensismolar1andaquarter2.JPG.11213097ec977778ff3692f1d3224e1e.JPG

Here are 3 teeth where I would be pleased with confirmation, identification, alternate possibilities.

Aulophyseter_morriceiWhaleTFF.jpg.842ad41e20ab615026382ac1602ade94.jpgSealIncisorTFF.thumb.jpg.1001a8efd5a2eed20a8067459ccb7899.jpg

Is this incisor an incisor or a molar ?  Is it the approximate size of a seal incisor? A harbor seal's incisors for comparison.

FemaleHarborSeal-first-incisor-teeth-black.png.b57b239fd4b6f78ddcf03b8e90a7ff9c.png

Here are the canines of a Weddell Seal...

tj_2_-_teeth_front_viewWeddell_seal.jpg.a3d71edc98db498a08f9e35ba393866f.jpg

At 38 mm, Can this canine be Seal, maybe lower jaw....

CanineTFF.thumb.jpg.fd53ac8ce7792332035d27a308b02511.jpg

 

Lots of questions, Hopefully will trigger a good discussion..   Jack

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Can't help but lovely fossils!:)

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Indeed, Jack--I think Tony is your best bet for help on these. Bobby @Boesse might also be of help on the whale tooth (and possibly on the pinnipeds as well).

 

Nice looking acquisitions.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Fossildude19
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I will try, but Bobby will probably correct all My guesses.

 

First three teeth look like Allodesmus kernesi molars.

The whale tooth I can not comment on.

The seal incisor looks more like a molar.' but the root seems long.

The last one looks like a cetatean tooth because of the root shape, but I don't know which one.

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Caldigger is known to toss around some shovel-loads of dirt at STH. I suspect that he might be of some assistance when he checks in.

 

Last time I was at STH I found an Allodesmus like the first ones shown, only it has some root missing.

 

The other teeth are very interesting as well. I'll follow this thread so that I might have a shot at ID'ing any such finds I might stumble across in the future. Very nice teeth, with surprisingly complete roots. Good luck.

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1 hour ago, ynot said:

I will try, but Bobby will probably correct all My guesses.

 

First three teeth look like Allodesmus kernesi molars.

The whale tooth I can not comment on.

The seal incisor looks more like a molar.' but the root seems long.

The last one looks like a cetatean tooth because of the root shape, but I don't know which one.

Tony,

Thanks for putting yourself out there.  More difficult when you know expertise coming behind you.

1) So you are saying Sea Lion for the 1st set of molars

2) The whale tooth is the one I had my most confident ID on

3) I am not sure that it is an incisor, and not sure that it is seal rather than sea lion

4) I saw that hump and wondered if it was determinate.

Good guesses!! This thread is exceeding my expectations...

A source of my confusion is 1) great similarity between all Pinnipeds at STH 2) thinking that there is significant size difference between Seals and Sea Lions, which might ? translate to significant differences in their tooth size. see below

Steller-and-Harbor-seal-canines-in-hand.thumb.jpg.2656366c22141f57f3e6decf108b8275.jpg

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3 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

1) So you are saying Sea Lion for the 1st set of molars

Allodesmus is not a pinniped, just closely related.

 

3 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

3) I am not sure that it is an incisor, and not sure that it is seal rather than sea lion

We are in the same boat on this.

 

3 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

A source of my confusion is 1) great similarity between all Pinnipeds at STH 2) thinking that there is significant size difference between Seals and Sea Lions, which might ? translate to significant differences in their tooth size.

Yep, that is about the size of it.

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Just for clarity (from collections)...

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Chordata 
Class: Mammalia 
Order: Carnivora 
Family: Desmtophocidea 
Genus: Allodesmus 
Species: A. kernensis 

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Has there been Scientific contention?  Wikipedia did not get the message.

AllodesmusTFFWikipedia.JPG.89b6960b0baa1595881ef39a2a0bf798.JPG

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52 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

Has there been Scientific contention? 

:shrug:

I was going by what I think Bobby told Me, but I probably got it wrong (Not My strong point and most I know on the subject has been learned on TFF.)

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I too have recently uncovered one of these long narrow rooted teeth and am equally bepuzzled by it. All others I have ever found are like the second picture in this post with much shorter root length.

20190107_195650.jpg

20190107_195726.jpg

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9 hours ago, caldigger said:

I too have recently uncovered one of these long narrow rooted teeth and am equally bepuzzled by it. All others I have ever found are like the second picture in this post with much shorter root length.

That's a really nice one! I don't think I have seen one that complete. Whole root and enamel. Nice find

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:01 PM, caldigger said:

I too have recently uncovered one of these long narrow rooted teeth and am equally bepuzzled by it. All others I have ever found are like the second picture in this post with much shorter root length.

 

Great looking tooth !!!  Love canines with golden brown enamel.  :wub:

 

Looking at the STH fauna map, there are more possibilities for this one beyond marine mammal, so might be something "unexpected" and spectacular.  Not knowing the ID would be an inch I could not scratch. 

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:01 PM, caldigger said:

uncovered one of these long narrow rooted teeth

I think this is a seal/sea lion canine tooth.

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20 minutes ago, ynot said:

I think this is a seal/sea lion canine tooth.

This is a difficult tooth because it is NOT curved..  Leopard Seal below:

A straight tooth is more likely whale... we need an animal that is so large that it does not have the curve required of underslung/overslung jaw..  Aulophyseter Morricei has such teeth,  although different from this tooth

 

leopard-seal-jaw-sara-mynott.jpg.f17fa64c5e8294b9288ed8b1fe740dbe.jpg

Sea Lion

Leopard_seal_teeth.jpg.6797116dbd4d93394064cf4d9f02df4f.jpg

Weddell Seal

tj_2_-_teeth_front_viewWeddell_seal.jpg.1b0712c42f4dc4db8dafa5ee835ca3e3.jpg

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29 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

This is a difficult tooth because it is NOT curved.. 

What about the modified second incisor?

Those teeth do not show a curve like the canine does.

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8 minutes ago, ynot said:

What about the modified second incisor?

Those teeth do not show a curve like the canine does.

 

Good response.  I was looking at the upper teeth on the Sea Lion between the canines. It might be long enough and straight enough... @caldigger what is the length of your canine? Could be a 3 inch upper tooth, mostly straight..

SeaLionTFF.JPG.2b707c92b46fca5bbb98f539da54feba.JPG

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The tooth I posted is 5cm ( 2") 

However, I have this one ( same length) which I believe to be the canine.

20190109_184922.jpg

20190109_184953.jpg

 

The skinnier one does have a crown more consistent with that of a cetacean.

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15 hours ago, caldigger said:

The tooth I posted is 5cm ( 2") 

However, I have this one ( same length) which I believe to be the canine.

......

The skinnier one does have a crown more consistent with that of a cetacean.

 

The shape and curvature of this tooth reminds me of bear or wolf canines I have found in the Peace River, Florida.  The tooth below does not. 

On 1/7/2019 at 11:01 PM, caldigger said:

I too have recently uncovered one of these long narrow rooted teeth and am equally bepuzzled by it. All others I have ever found are like the second picture in this post with much shorter root length.

20190107_195650.jpg

20190107_195726.jpg

Here is a bone valley whale tooth that matches the approximate size, enamel/root composition but still have the bulge in the root and the "stripping" in the enamel typical of whale... I hope that Bobby gets a chance to see and comment on this tooth of yours.

BVmarinemammalMRG.thumb.jpg.bbf6d6d96fabd6df7883fbd5e6a444cc.jpg

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5 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

this tooth reminds me of bear or wolf canines

Terrestrial mammal fossil are extremely rare in the STH bone bed.

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52 minutes ago, ynot said:

Terrestrial mammal fossil are extremely rare in the STH bone bed.

Agree Tony,  I was just making the point that Canines of Sea Lions look a lot like canines of wolves or bears....etc   "Form follows Function"  Most mammal canines seem to look "almost" the same.

Caldigger's slim, straight tooth looks different from the pattern I have in mind for canines.

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Hi Jack,

 

I just found this thread.  In the absence of a reply from Bobby, I will take a shot at your teeth, though I'm mostly in agreement with Tony.

 

The first one looks like an Allodesmus tooth.  Teeth of this form are termed "postcanine teeth" because there isn't a morphological change from the first tooth behind the canine to the back of the jaw.  I would assume, however, that this tooth is towards the back because of the short root.  The tooth photo you pulled from another site is also Allodesmus.

 

The tooth identified as Aulophyseter morricei may be one but it's pretty worn and there are few whale tooth forms without enamel on the crowns as you've seen from Florida sites.  There is an article on fossil sperm whales (Kimura et al., 2006) and it shows a photo of an Aulophyseter tooth.  Unfortunately, the shot is not well-lit and the photocopier I used was not the best so my copy of the figure is too blurry to help.

 

The tooth identified as a "seal incisor" appears to be just a small Allodesmus tooth - perhaps a juvenile.  At this point we have be careful with terms like "seal" and sea lion.  There were no seals in the Sharktooth Hill Fauna.  Early seas seem to originate from Europe spreading into the Atlantic (teeth found at Lee Creek) by the Middle Miocene and appearing in the Pacific by Early Pliocene.  Allodesmus is not technically a sea lion in that it doesn't belong to the modern group we know as sea lions.  Allodesmus is a relative of sea lions but I don't know the latest on where it fits among pinnipeds.  I should add that the pinnipeds include seals, sea lions, walruses, and extinct groups like Allodesmus.

 

The view of the harbor seal's incisors does, however provide a good illustration of what an Allodesmus incisor looks like - rather straight and narrow with a nub-like crown that can vary a little in shape.

 

The tooth marked as a "canine" looks more like one of those unnamed whale teeth.

 

Jess

 

Kimura, T., Y. Hasegawa,. & L. G. Barnes, L. G.  2006.

Fossil sperm whales (Cetacea, Physeteridae) from Gunma and Ibaraki prefectures, Japan; with observations on the Miocene fossil sperm whale Scaldicetus shigensis Hirota and Barnes, 1995. Bulletin of the Gunma Museum of Natural History 10, 1-23.

 

 

 

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