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Perplexing Teeth from Hardin County, Kentucky


Amber_Flowers

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Amber_Flowers

Hello! in the early 2000's, the Ring Road project in Hardin, County (Elizabethtown, KY) had been in progress. My father had a coworker friend who lived along the road and was able to obtain a few loads of the rock busted by contractors to be used in his yard. My dad scored some as well and it was used for landscaping. Ever the budding Geologist, I of course explored the rock pile and found this particular find to be both intriguing and perplexing. I've attempted to positively ID it for years. I've shown it to a shark expert, local geologists and the KY Geological Survey...none have a clue. Though they offered to buy it for a museum haha. They did say they think a fish or shark is most likely probability. Although I was looking forward to identifying it myself, I've wasted quite a bit of time attempting to do so and would like some assistance confirming the identification theories I have. Thank you! 

 

State: Kentucky | County: Hardin | City: Elizabethtown

Strata: Since I'm uncertain the exact location, I used the Rockd app to determine the strata in the area. Results are: Ste. Genevieve Limestone, St. Louis Limestone, Salem Limestone. All late Mississippian. 

 

IMG_6420.jpg

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CKDznfjWgAEHGyM.jpeg

Edited by Amber_Flowers
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Welcome to the forum. Can you post some close up pictures from different angles?

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I don't think these are teeth. They look like possible crinoid plates, or a disarticulated crinoid calyx. 

 

IMG_6420.jpg.22c5effc803c5351d836bf833f3690e4.jpg

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Amber_Flowers
1 hour ago, connorp said:

Welcome to the forum. Can you post some close up pictures from different angles?

Thank you. I posted a close up with a scale, what other angles do you need? These were with my iPhone, I'll try to find some time to take some with my macro and a diffused flash. 

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Amber_Flowers
48 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

I don't think these are teeth. They look like possible crinoid plates, or a disarticulated crinoid calyx. 

 

IMG_6420.jpg.22c5effc803c5351d836bf833f3690e4.jpg

Sofar those who have seen it in person say teeth, they just don't know of what. I love crinoids, so that would be fine with me, but the material is nothing like any crinoid I've ever found. It's very smooth and glossy like enamel, there is a spongy area across the top (near the scale). I'm just not seeing crinoid. Do you happen to have any photos or a doodle of what you're seeing?

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1 hour ago, Amber_Flowers said:

Sofar those who have seen it in person say teeth, they just don't know of what. I love crinoids, so that would be fine with me, but the material is nothing like any crinoid I've ever found. It's very smooth and glossy like enamel, there is a spongy area across the top (near the scale). I'm just not seeing crinoid. Do you happen to have any photos or a doodle of what you're seeing?

Are those who have seen it paleontologists? 

 

I know of no critter that would have "teeth" like this in the Mississippian period.  :headscratch:

I don't see any kind of tooth morphology. Shiny does not equal enamel.  :unsure: 

This could also be a degraded or weathered chert nodule in limestone. 

Echinoderm pieces was a swag. , but honestly, this looks more geologic to me. 

Wait for some other opinions. :) 

 

@Herb

 

 

Possible helpful website LINK

 

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Amber_Flowers
38 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Are those who have seen it paleontologists? 

 

I know of no critter that would have "teeth" like this in the Mississippian period.  :headscratch:

I don't see any kind of tooth morphology. Shiny does not equal enamel.  :unsure: 

This could also be a degraded or weathered chert nodule in limestone. 

Echinoderm pieces was a swag. , but honestly, this looks more geologic to me. 

Wait for some other opinions. :) 

 

@Herb

 

 

Possible helpful website LINK

 

Yes, within the last couple years, one was a local geologist, another a paleontologist from Maryland who specializes in shark teeth. I'd tweeted photos to the KYGS and there were others over the years, all said fish or shark. I'm with you, it's strange and doesn't make sense, but I truly don't think it's a chert nodule. I took some better photos, I'll share them when edited, maybe that will help some. The white mesh area across the top looks organic, not geologic to me. I saw that same area present on a Polyrhizodus tooth (which also has a similar shape), which is part of why I've been leaning towards that. I'm looking forward to more opinions, it's highly interesting. 

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To me it looks like a partial internal mold of a gastropod.  I don’t see a tooth like structure, when in doubt take the fossil to your favorite large museum. They should be very familiar with local fossil forms and local geology.  Additionally very view fossil localities are one and done.  What else have you found. Other fossils would help by providing a framework of what to consider

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Polyrhizodus seems credible, though ideally I'd want to see the surface of the object rather than simply a break through the middle of it.

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1 hour ago, Josesaurus rex said:

Buscando publicaciones de fósiles en online, encontré esto. Me parece que es muy parecido a lo que tienes. Espero que pueda ayudar.  
Aquí está la publicación.  https://www.online.com/itm/153898057121

Translated, "Looking for fossil posts online, I found this. It seems to me that it is very similar to what you have. Hope it can help. Here is the post"

 

Looks like it is a match. 

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Josesaurus rex
On 7/9/2020 at 13:38, Planko said:

Traducido: " Buscando publicaciones de fósiles en línea, encontré esto. Me parece que es muy similar a lo que tiene. Espero que pueda ayudar. Aquí está la publicación"

 

Parece que es un partido. 

thanks for translating well. 

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  • 1 month later...
Amber_Flowers

Update, I finally had some time to take photos. Posted photos in a Kentucky paleontology group on Facebook, someone replied they also believe it's a Polyrhizodus like I thought because they had found one like it near Radcliff, Kentucky, which is also Hardin County! The photo looked the same. They donated it to a museum. 

 

https://www.soulgazephoto.com/Public-Galleries/The-Year-2020/Unknown-Mineralization-Hardin-County-Kentucky/

 

 

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https://www.uky.edu/KGS/fossils/fossil-Mississippian-shark-gallery.php

 Try this link, sure looks similar.  I remember seeing this earlier and looked through crinoids and cystoids but I think the tooth id in the link is correct.  The top edge which is the base of the tooth looks similar to other teeth.  This looks more like one tooth that is fractured. Packy

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Hello Amber and welcome to TFF from Austin, Tx. 

 

I'd like to back up a step on analyzing your specimen.  I don't believe that these are teeth, because I'm not sure that I see an enamel surface.  Would you mind taking a pin and making a slight in size but fairly deep scratch (i.e. enough to produce a bit of debris) in a part of the specimen that looks like teeth.  Perhaps on a piece of the upper triangular structure on the left side above the left-most "tooth".  Having made that scratch, place a drop of vinegar on the scratched surface with the debris.  Does the scratched area fizz?  Tell us what you find, if you are willing to try this.  Thanks.

 

 

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I am not sure what these are but I would disagree with grandpa's idea of taking a pin and scratching it.  No need to blemish the fossil/rock.  If you can get your hands on a binocular microscope (at the KYGS?) maybe you can see more structures.  

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19 minutes ago, jpc said:

I would disagree with grandpa's idea of taking a pin and scratching it

 

I'm a rank amateur.  JPC is a recognized professional.  Please listen to him and ignore my advise.

 

Except, do not ignore my "Welcome" to you to the Fossil Forum.  We are very glad to have you as a member.  We do have some great experts here, and you should follow their advise.

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On 9/6/2020 at 7:39 PM, Amber_Flowers said:

Sofar those who have seen it in person say teeth, they just don't know of what. I love crinoids, so that would be fine with me, but the material is nothing like any crinoid I've ever found. It's very smooth and glossy like enamel, there is a spongy area across the top (near the scale). I'm just not seeing crinoid. Do you happen to have any photos or a doodle of what you're seeing?

My vote is for Polyrhizodus/Petalodus. I agree with @Packy as I ended up on the same page.

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

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I agree with @Fossildude19, I don’t see anything that suggests teeth. Vast majority of Paleozoic fish with crushing tooth morphology had tubular dentine - so if it was a tooth you would see lots of small regularly positioned pores. Partial disarticulated crinoid calyx seems to be the most likely option, part of something like this:

 

9AEAB46F-6A57-498D-A9D5-4B08C64F8D0F.thumb.jpeg.8fa8ef6f3c788d254aaf106dadc81261.jpeg

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On 9/7/2020 at 12:38 PM, Planko said:

Translated, "Looking for fossil posts online, I found this. It seems to me that it is very similar to what you have. Hope it can help. Here is the post"

 

Looks like it is a match. 

Wrong age. The item we are looking at is much older - Mississippian in age. 

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1 hour ago, Anomotodon said:

I agree with @Fossildude19, I don’t see anything that suggests teeth. Vast majority of Paleozoic fish with crushing tooth morphology had tubular dentine - so if it was a tooth you would see lots of small regularly positioned pores. Partial disarticulated crinoid calyx seems to be the most likely option, part of something like this:

 

9AEAB46F-6A57-498D-A9D5-4B08C64F8D0F.thumb.jpeg.8fa8ef6f3c788d254aaf106dadc81261.jpeg

 

 

I'm rethinking my original ID after Amber_Flowers showed us these pics. 

On 10/28/2020 at 10:40 PM, Amber_Flowers said:

Update, I finally had some time to take photos. Posted photos in a Kentucky paleontology group on Facebook, someone replied they also believe it's a Polyrhizodus like I thought because they had found one like it near Radcliff, Kentucky, which is also Hardin County! The photo looked the same. They donated it to a museum. 

 

https://www.soulgazephoto.com/Public-Galleries/The-Year-2020/Unknown-Mineralization-Hardin-County-Kentucky/

 

 

 

 

I see what you are looking at now, and knowing that the root is damaged/broken, and we can only see a bit of the top of the tooth,  I have to agree with the others who say it's a tooth. 

Thanks for posting the link to the pictures. Makes more sense to me now. :)

Nice find, and well done! 

 

 

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I noticed the link to new pictures just now actually. I see the tubular dentine on the top now, which implies that the bottom structures are root lobes. Polyrhizodus seems likely!

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Hello Amber. I believe that I have welcomed you before, but let me do it again. Welcome! :)

 

I live in Hardin County (Elizabethtown) and have hunted/studied the area. I think that it is very cool that you have rock from the Ring Road project! As I am sure you know, most of Ring Road is developed now and there isn't much left in the way of exposures to hunt.

 

That being said, I have to say that I am very intrigued by your find! You are correct in your assertation that the Salem and St. Louis Limestone is found in the area. While fish teeth can be found in the Salem Limestone (Beede, Joshua William, et al. The Fauna of the Salem Limestone of Indiana. Indiana. Department of geology and natural resources, 1906; Newberry and Worthen, 1866, Paleontology of Illinois, Vol. 2), they seem to be rare here and not nearly as common as echinoderm (and other invertebrate) bits. I have yet to find anything vertebrate related in the 5~ish years that I have been hunting the area. 

 

I am still uncertain as to what you actually do have. On one hand, I think that it is far more likely that your find is something similar to what @Anomotodon and @Fossildude19 suggests, as they are more common. On the other hand, it does (to me at least) superficially resemble a fish mouth plateIF it is a fish tooth plate, it is badly weathered/damaged and possibly partially covered in matrix. I feel that the only way to positively ID this would be to have it in hand for close scrutiny. Pictures do not do this specimen enough justice it seems.

 

Oh... and Maybe @Herb has an idea as he has probably hunted these parts longer than I have been alive! :P 

 

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2 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

I see what you are looking at now, and knowing that the root is damaged/broken, and we can only see a bit of the top of the tooth,  I have to agree with the others who say it's a tooth. 

Thanks for posting the link to the pictures. Makes more sense to me now. :)

Nice find, and well done! 

 

Wait... I didn't see the link to the additional pictures either... Definitely looks more toothy to me as well. Nice! Gives me hope of finding one in the area! :thumbsu:

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