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Shellseeker

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Shellseeker

This is an excellent find, but I am unsure how to identify it and I also wanted to share the moment.

Why excellent? Any fossil tooth with complete roots is rare and any Manatee or Dugong molar in any shape is rare for me. In 10 years , I have found 5 or 6 of these in Peace River hunting.

So my question: Can a Trichechus manatus molar be differentiated from a Metaxytherium floridanum molar and , if so, which is this fossil?

Details : Crown height - 45 mm, Crown length - 26 mm; Found in Peace River Watershed. Thanks for all comments and suggestions!!! :fistbump:

DugongMolar.JPG.c03bee5060c50b7a78d28537a2e5a794.JPGDugongMolar2.JPG.4ad423d616c9a24af19fb5f98bbd6e3c.JPG

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Beautiful tooth Jack!...unfortunately got nothing to offer on your ID question..hoping someone can answer for you soon...

 

Regards, Chris 

 

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Shellseeker

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

 

I have found one of Harry's pictures.  The question has been asked before...:D

 

Also this ...https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/species/metaxytherium-floridanum

 

Quote

Fossils of Metaxytherium floridanum are very common in middle and early late Miocene strata in the phosphate mines of both northern and central Florida (Hamilton, Polk, Hardee, eastern Hillsborough counties). The other place in Florida where its fossils are common are the numerous creeks running through Gainesville (Alachua County). The youngest records of the species are from late Miocene sites in Manatee County, Florida. It is not found in the late Hemphillian (early Pliocene) deposits of the Bone Valley Formation in the central phosphate mining region; instead two different species of dugongs are present in those beds, Nanosiren graciae and Corystosiren varguezi (Domning, 1990; Domning and Aguilera, 2008).

Tooth replacement in Metaxytherium floridanum followed the same horizontal replacement pattern found in proboscidians and modern manatees, but with only a maximum of six total teeth per jaw in an animal’s lifetime. In most jaws only three teeth are present and functioning (Fig. 4); more rarely two or four. The premolars and molars of dugongids are all basically similar and cannot be used to distinguish different genera and species of similar size. Significant differences are instead found on the degree of deflection of the rostrum, the size and shape of the upper canine tusk, and the shape and thickness of the ridges on the skullcap.

 

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hemipristis

Sweet tooth!

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Beautiful find Jack,congrats :yay-smiley-1:

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Mark Kmiecik

Nice find -- but you're not supposed to research and find the answer to your question before the rest of us have even read the post. :D

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Shellseeker
1 hour ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

Nice find -- but you're not supposed to research and find the answer to your question before the rest of us have even read the post. :D

You are correct, Mark....

I think that the thing that drives some of this behavior is the realization that,  for some fossils endemic to Florida, I do not always get an identification. So, Metaxytherium Floridanum (which has only been found in Florida) is a leading candidate ID for this tooth.

In most cases, where I ask for an ID,  I search the internet and TFF for ( in this case), "manatee molar fossil" and "dugong molar fossil" sometimes adding the word "Florida". Usually , I am looking for a TFF member, who has found something similar or who has a LOT of base knowledge of Florida fossils like @Harry Pristis.

I think it is my responsibility to do the general searches of the internet. So it is a race condition between my internet searches and TFF members reading this post and saying "I know what that is...

There is more to the identification. I do not have all the answers:

20 hours ago, Shellseeker said:

The youngest records of the species are from late Miocene sites in Manatee County, Florida. It is not found in the late Hemphillian (early Pliocene) deposits of the Bone Valley Formation in the central phosphate mining region; instead two different species of dugongs are present in those beds, Nanosiren graciae and Corystosiren varguezi (Domning, 1990; Domning and Aguilera, 2008).

Just by coloration, this tooth is from the Bone Valley Watershed, not a phosphate mine. However, there is a large degree of overlap of the fauna in the two types of deposits. Manatee county borders Hardee county thru which the Peace River and its tributary creeks flow. Late Miocene is 11.6 to 5.3 million years ago. Late Hemphillian in Florida would be considerably younger (4.75 to 5.7 myas).

Just based on the quality and color, it is a slight hint that lesser know dugongs (Nanasiren or Corystosiren) may have produced this tooth. Getting high quality specimens from 4-5 myas is special :yay-smiley-1::yay-smiley-1:

 

 

DugongMergeTxt.jpg.4904f552468db18867b3febbe995e4b6.jpg

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Great find! Congratulations Jack!

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Mark Kmiecik
2 minutes ago, Shellseeker said:

You are correct, Mark....

I think that the thing that drives some of this behavior is the realization that,  for some fossils endemic to Florida, I do not always get an identification. So, Metaxytherium Floridanum (which has only been found in Florida) is a leading candidate ID for this tooth.

In most cases, where I ask for an ID,  I search the internet and TFF for ( in this case), "manatee molar fossil" and "dugong molar fossil" sometimes adding the word "Florida". Usually , I am looking for a TFF member, who has found something similar or who has a LOT of base knowledge of Florida fossils like @Harry Pristis.

I think it is my responsibility to do the general searches of the internet. So it is a race condition between my internet searches and TFF members reading this post and saying "I know what that is...

There is more to the identification. I do not have all the answers:

I know what you mean -- I just "missed the chase" on this one when the answer came so fast, although it is fun to find the answer by yourself at times.

 

On a separate note, I noticed that you post quite often. Are you out collecting almost every day? I don't get out anymore because of poor health. I miss collecting and fishing a lot.

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Shellseeker
1 hour ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

On a separate note, I noticed that you post quite often. Are you out collecting almost every day? I don't get out anymore because of poor health. I miss collecting and fishing a lot.

I am fortunate.  I retired in 2007  and although I went on a couple of 18 month contractor stints since then, my better half allows me to focus on fossil hunting as a primary hobby. It is basically what I do. 

During my prime years , I was hunting Bone Valley 4-5 times a week, 12 hour days. It was almost like a job. As I advance in years, I find myself less capable of driving my body as hard. Currently, I manage 3 times a week.

I am running as fast as I can, trying to keep ahead of the arthritis, torn tendons & ligaments, heart disease and the results of 40 years of two packs of Lucky Strikes a day. Like sands through the hourglass,

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Shellseeker
6 minutes ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

...so are the days of our lives.

:fistbump:

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