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one fish, two fish, how many types of fish


val horn

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Earlier I asked for help in id of a couple pieces of what was identified as enchodus jaw.  This surprised me because it was seemed different to me, in that the teeth were thick and curved.  It makes me wonder if these multiple teeth, and jaw pieces are  enchodus or something else.  I would really appreciate it if you guys could look these over and  tell me what you see.  All have been photographed on simple notebook paper (ie each line has the exact same spacing-- distorted by my camera)

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To get good identification photos, you have to be really above them to avoid distortions.

 

Coco

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Well, I can say that all of those teeth and jaw pieces are definitely Enchodus. The pieces with a single long tooth sticking out of them are called dermopalatines, or just palatine bones. They're a segment of the jaw that comes from the very front of the mouth and isn't really attached to the rest of the jawbone, causing them to often fossilize by themselves as the fish's body becomes disjointed after its death. Your question about the shape of the teeth can be answered by identifying them as each belonging to a different species of Enchodus. I'm not sure where you found all of these, but if they're from Big Brook or another similar Late Cretaceous marine locale then the flatter, more curved teeth are probably from Enchodus gladiolus, while the more straight, cylindrical teeth are from Enchodus petrosus

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Thank you.  These are all from a local site in Mayland, late cretaceous severn formation.    I really appreciate the information.    Can enchodus really be the principle fish in the location, or do you think that the obvious poor preservation is distorting what I am finding? 

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3 hours ago, 10313horn said:

Can enchodus really be the principle fish in the location, or do you think that the obvious poor preservation is distorting what I am finding? 

It's certainly possible that all the teeth you have are Enchodus since they're generally always incredibly common in Late Cretaceous marine deposits that preserve vertebrate fossils - at least, that's the case in the North Sulphur River here in Texas and Big Brook in New Jersey. However, I wouldn't totally rule out other fish species being present as well. Obviously the poor preservation does make it difficult, but fish teeth often look very similar, especially when fragmented. 

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I really appreciate the information, thank you.    I envy you if you have been able to collect at North Sulfur River often enough to know what is typical.

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