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Brett Breakin' Rocks

Mammal tooth fragment .. Savannah River

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

Hi There,

 

Picked up this tooth fragment while sifting on the Savannah river. The sifter always seems to pull up cool stuff. First time in a long time that I brought out the heavier gear and my arms were dying by the end of the day.

 

It looks too robust for a tapir tooth (?) and the chewing surfaces (what is left of them) feels off. I know the fauna is similar in the Florida Peace river. This would be Pliocene-Pleistocene @digit @Shellseeker does this strike your fancy right off as something recognizable. It may be too much of a fragment.

 

55458270_307035216635688_4219892904048459776_n.jpg.6c0c1a6ab7f3ab80975a4554855485ed.jpg 55473492_639069469876191_2796695433991159808_n.jpg.a6e192fef9e9509d01e84237a455f18d.jpg55927997_2188937511189803_140338533138169856_n.jpg.169d6e110f3b189a25bc5cd848878273.jpg56270069_395135851309986_2065923855431499776_n.jpg.e98213e16d1d0473fb72b417efa17ba4.jpg

 

55462346_345430946073197_4883485138194792448_n.jpg.77523137cb2d81cb18d14b3433bca9c9.jpg

 

 

Thanks,

Brett

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

Larger image.

20190327_210743.thumb.jpg.c5ba92b2ef48d0448360316369bbd49b.jpg

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Shellseeker

Brett,

Compare your 2nd photo to this one:  Upper Male Tapir molars tend to be robust....IMG_5364.jpg.c73e31f77a7a50f14aebc77d9a81d835.jpgIMG_5367.jpg.743ab2bdeb967c1328d230307141c175.jpg

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
14 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

Compare your 2nd photo to this one:  Upper Male Tapir molars tend to be robust....

Hi Jack,

 

Thanks for the visual aid .. ! .. ok, I guess I was tossed a bit by the chunkiness of it, if that makes any sense.  I appreciate the help, this would be the second or third tapir tooth from this area so it makes sense.

 

Thanks again I do appreciate it,

Brett

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caldigger

Jack, can you show us what the top (chewing surface) of yours looks like?

I don't know how many species of Tapir there were in Florida or if uppers look much different than lowers, but mine doesn't seem to have the same surface pattern as Brett's.

 

Tapirus veroensis 

20190327_201252.jpg

20190327_202107.png

 

EDIT- I just snagged this image off the auction site with many Tapir teeth for sale. This shows me that the pattern on the teeth can vary considerably.

20190327_210243.png

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digit
9 hours ago, caldigger said:

Tapirus verdensis 

For the record (typo or not) this is Tapirus veroensis with the type specimen coming from Vero Beach just up the coast from me about 2 hours north.

 

The tooth shapes to vary a bit but the pattern on the occlusal surface doesn't vary all that much. They basically have two lobes each with two points that are connected with a ridge. The edge between these two separate lobes tends to the the thinnest part (especially on teeth that are missing the softer roots and they often split there and are found as just halves. Probably the biggest difference you are seeing comes from teeth that are newly erupted and ones that have worn down quite a bit exposing the interior of the tooth and resulting in more sharp enamel edges (which likely function better at chewing than a newly erupted tooth).

 

tapirs.jpg

 

Your tooth above has gorgeous caramel coloration so I'm assuming it was a land-based find and didn't spend time in a phosphate-rich river environment staining it black like the teeth we come across. I'll agree that there is a bit of variation in the details of the occlusal surface but that your specimen is either pre-erupted or freshly so as it doesn't have apparent wear as an older tooth would. I'm wondering if the slight variation in the ridge pattern would be a tooth position thing or the result of sexual dimorphism? @Harry Pristis has seen more tapir teeth than anybody I know and could likely provide additional info on this.

 

Cool teeth everybody. I've found several tapir tooth "caps" both complete and split in half. The only fully rooted tooth I've managed to find was split--the complete tapir tooth still eludes me. Something still on the Peace River bucket list. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Shellseeker
19 hours ago, caldigger said:

Jack, can you show us what the top (chewing surface) of yours looks like?

 

I don't think it is necessary after Harry's and Ken's responses, but here is the chewing surface of my Tapirus veroensis tooth

IMG_5349.jpg.61858473dcfcda8696b48a4b819a26e6.jpgIMG_5382.jpg.81548a4f6e61e6f4b72c355192237cfe.jpgIMG_5383.jpg.afa386799807b7bace25ee70d05be6af.jpg

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digit

Very nice! That thing's a monster!

 

Fingers crossed I turn up a tantalizing tapir tooth tomorrow. :P

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
1 hour ago, digit said:

Very nice! That thing's a monster!

 

1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

I don't think it is necessary after Harry's and Ken's responses, but here is the chewing surface of my Tapirus veroensis tooth

 

6 hours ago, Harry Pristis said:

unless an isolated tooth clearly fits my idea of T. veroensis or another known species, I label it Tapirus sp.

 

 

Thanks everyone ! 

 

While I was away, this thread has been busy, and the visual aids are outstanding.  I'm an image hoarder, and these examples will be great visual aids in the future when I need some help identifying my finds.  It's unfortunate but Georgia is a bit of a no-man's land when it comes to seeking information.  We have great resources North and South of us....  Even the state's geological survey was folded by the state many years ago. Everyone was let go and the few bits of fossil and mineral samples/materials scattered to the winds.  Kinda sad really ...

 

Thanks again,

Brett

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
12 hours ago, digit said:

Probably the biggest difference you are seeing comes from teeth that are newly erupted and ones that have worn down quite a bit exposing the interior of the tooth and resulting in more sharp enamel edges (which likely function better at chewing than a newly erupted tooth).

Hi Ken,  I suspect my tooth has some of this wear which is why the ID tossed me for a bit.   I was seeing unusual shapes created by the extra wear on the chewing surface.

 

B

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

Good luck @digit with your hunt. Too bad your season has been interrupted. I am thankful that there is such a wide range of fossils in our areas. These teeth are partial but cover from the small Capybara, Tapir, Llama and Beaver on up to horse, whales and mammoths. Just amazing what just a few trips will turn up.

 

Good Luck !!

 

20190329_151112.thumb.jpg.237fa90653eb49dde3ea93fa4a70ee80.jpg

 

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Plantguy

Neat finds and thread Brett...Tapir teeth are interesting and there wear patterns even more so...

So whats this little guy...Is it in matrix? fish tooth or something else?

5c9e9cfa955f4_Brettsunknown.jpg.82c2afcaf2d1be482718eb0aa896ad1f.jpg

Regards, Chris 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
4 hours ago, Plantguy said:

Regards, Chris

Hey Chris, @Plantguy ... yep, this is an erupting drum fish tooth from a pharyngeal tooth plate. Wasn't the best photo, but the bone is really worn so it is hard to see. Here is a shot of the underside. Not much to look at but the hidden tooth made it a keeper. 

 

I've only ever found one other. With a tooth erupting/emerging. 

 

20190329_224138.thumb.jpg.44a59156739d4cf56d3d11a0ec93eeef.jpg

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Plantguy
1 hour ago, Brett Breakin' Rocks said:

Hey Chris, @Plantguy ... yep, this is an erupting drum fish tooth from a pharyngeal tooth plate. Wasn't the best photo, but the bone is really worn so it is hard to see. Here is a shot of the underside. Not much to look at but the hidden tooth made it a keeper. 

 

I've only ever found one other. With a tooth erupting/emerging. 

 

20190329_224138.thumb.jpg.44a59156739d4cf56d3d11a0ec93eeef.jpg

oh that is cool...thanks for the explanation and additional photo. Interesting pattern/structure. 

 

Regards, Chris 

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digit
On 3/29/2019 at 3:17 PM, Brett Breakin' Rocks said:

Good luck @digit with your hunt.

We did good. We took about 25 SCUBAnauts and assorted parents/leaders with us on a trip down the Peace River today (Saturday). Tammy and I scouted out on Friday the sites we visited today to verify they would be shallow enough to visit. The river still really needs to drop another 1.5 feet to be where it should be this time of year but the shallow sites were accessible and everyone had fun--a nice 2.5" meg was found by one of the group along with some other finds. I may post a trip report later when I get a bit of time.

 

I also found an item on Friday that was a mystery to me so I need to take photos and pass it by the experts to see what I have--something new for me so a successful hunt in my books. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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