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Striatolamia Macrota with Pathologic Deformities found at Purse State Park MD


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Before quarantine took effect, I had a chance to visit Purse State park. I normally frequent Brownie Beach, but the recent cliff collapse forced me to try some other spots. I was also interested in finding some much older fossils from the Paleocene formations along the Potomac. I found tons of turritella gastropod molds, and many smaller lamnid teeth. Some of the larger ones I found were pretty easy to identify as Striatolamia species, most likely S. macrota that had slight surface wear from being washed around in the Potomac. Most teeth from this location seem to be similarly eroded, and almost all my S. macrota specimens seem to be missing their telltale crown striations. I found some nice looking ones I found, all approximately an inch in length and with a hint of blue coloring.

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Towards the end of the trip I also stumbled upon a likely pathological lateral tooth, probably another Striatolamia. It definitely caught my eye, and I really liked the weird curvature of the crown. This one was about half an inch in length, and although it might not be easy to tell from the photo, it had a much stubbier tip that was not the result of chipping or erosion.

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Anyways, I just thought I'd share an interesting find from last month since I'm losing my mind in quarantine. It sucks not being able to go on hunts when the weather is so nice, but I hope everyone is staying safe.

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The ones missing the striations May be Goblins (Anomotodon novus). Awesome patho!!!

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hokietech96

@WhodamanHD Sorry for the stupid question. Which ones are Goblins? To me they look like they all have some type of striations.  The teeth from that area are so similar and is very difficult to get an ID.

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44 minutes ago, hokietech96 said:

@WhodamanHD Sorry for the stupid question. Which ones are Goblins? To me they look like they all have some type of striations.  The teeth from that area are so similar and is very difficult to get an ID.

Not in any way a stupid question, the teeth there are a pain to differentiate. S. macrota have actual raised striations you can feel when you run your fingers on top of them on the lingual side. The problem I run into is Carcharias hopei vs Anomotodon novus. I have noticed Goblin lacks developed cusps in most positions and tend to have a wider “U” for the root (at least in the anteriors and the first few laterals). However, if the cusps are worn off and the position is more towards the posterior side it gets near impossible to tell them apart with any degree of certainty, at least for me. Perhaps someone else here knows more than I.

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hokietech96
15 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

Not in any way a stupid question, the teeth there are a pain to differentiate. S. macrota have actual raised striations you can feel when you run your fingers on top of them on the lingual side. The problem I run into is Carcharias hopei vs Anomotodon novus. I have noticed Goblin lacks developed cusps in most positions and tend to have a wider “U” for the root (at least in the anteriors and the first few laterals). However, if the cusps are worn off and the position is more towards the posterior side it gets near impossible to tell them apart with any degree of certainty, at least for me. Perhaps someone else here knows more than I.

I think it’s extremely common issue people have with teeth from that area

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7 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

The ones missing the striations May be Goblins (Anomotodon novus). Awesome patho!!!

Yup, I will admit I'm much more familiar with Miocene fossils, so I'm not too sure. Middle one on top has strong striations, the others I just assumed were tumbled by the waves a bit and they got worn off. I will do more research and see if they look closer to anything else. A lot of times many lamnid shark teeth look the same when they are worn like this, since they lose the cusps and finer details, so all I have to go off of is general shape. Thanks for the tip!

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