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unusual one from Sharktooth Hill... totally stumped


ScottM

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Sorry, but I barely know where to begin describing this. Happy to field questions or take different pics if that helps. What I DO know is that this seems much different from all the other teeth and bones I brought home from Sharktooth Hill. It is lighter weight than the other teeth and bones and seems to be composed of a pair of something with a plate on the bottom and sinuses in the back. The first pic shows what I'm calling the "top."

IMG-7959.thumb.jpg.b828da0c2feb6f2e3c542c45806b7a7b.jpg

 

Then if you tip that backwards you can see a smooth plate of some sort on what I'm calling the "bottom"

 

IMG-7960.thumb.jpg.bd14e3fcf95b21a9e8996fc31bc3cd2f.jpg

  

And if you continue to roll it backwards now we see the hollow sinuses on what I'm calling the "back" side.

 

IMG-7961.thumb.jpg.1c7e68a18a17ae48f3a5071a28b3a9fd.jpg

 

Finally, here's a slightly different view from the front with it tilted just slightly upwards compared to the first pic in this post. Seems to be some wear on the edges pointing forward.

 

IMG-7963.thumb.jpg.e5d464cab603fd0c28a6bf0b96ddda1b.jpg

 

Does this ring a bell for anyone? I'd sure love to know what I found. Thank you!

 

 

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Shall I be so bold as to say a territorial mammal tooth.  Very rare!

Looks almost to be Artiodactyl. Deer or something similar perhaps.

@Harry Pristis

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Harry Pristis

My best guess is a selenodont artiodactyl upper molar.  I think the tooth is severely beach-polished.  The "sinuses" are, I think, remnants of fossae between missing lingual cusps.

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It is thought that all the terrestrial fossils found in the deposit were washed into the Temblor Sea from river runoffs coming from the early Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Likely the reason your tooth is water worn.

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Fascinating - thanks so much! 

 

According to Prothero et al. (2008) "LAND MAMMALS FROM THE MIDDLE MIOCENE SHARKTOOTH HILL BONEBED, KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA" the most common land mammal in the STH bone bed is Bouromeryx americanus. So I'm guessing that is most likely what I've got. Thanks for all the help!

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On 2/25/2020 at 5:54 PM, caldigger said:

Shall I be so bold as to say a territorial mammal tooth.  Very rare!

Looks almost to be Artiodactyl. Deer or something similar perhaps.

@Harry Pristis

 

If it's from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed, it's too old to be a deer but it is an artiodactyl.  Of course, the bonebed is a marine deposit so any land mammal bone or tooth is an extremely rare find.  @fossillarry is looking at it and should have at least two possibilities for you.  He and I were talking on the phone and I was telling him a couple of threads he should look at and this is one of them.  Larry was hunting the bonebed back in the late 70's - maybe the member with the most experience with it on the forum.

 

Jess

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On 2/25/2020 at 9:24 PM, ScottM said:

Fascinating - thanks so much! 

 

According to Prothero et al. (2008) "LAND MAMMALS FROM THE MIDDLE MIOCENE SHARKTOOTH HILL BONEBED, KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA" the most common land mammal in the STH bone bed is Bouromeryx americanus. So I'm guessing that is most likely what I've got. Thanks for all the help!

 

Bouromeryx is a palaeomerycid and Larry was looking at sizes for that to see if it's a good fit.  That was actually one of the possibilities he was considering while we were on the phone.  Camels were more diverse back then so he was thinking of those too.

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