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Hi, 

 

A few weeks back I posted in the ID section about a fragment of mammal molar I had found whilst collecting at Hamstead. The Hamstead to Bouldnor coast is an Eocene/Oligocene locality and one the best sites in the UK for tertiary vertebrate remains from crocodiles, turtles, fish, and quite frequently mammals too, and was deposited in a paludal environment in the Hampshire Basin. I was aware it was a fragment of a rhinoceros tooth but couldn't be sure if it was from a more modern Pleistocene type like Stephanorhinus or a much more older rhinocerotid like Ronzotherium, an early hornless rhinoceros which is a a very rare part of the post Grande Coupre mammal fauna found in the Bouldnor Fm. Only 6 finds attributed to Ronzotherium have been discovered here since the late-19th century, the last record I can find is from 1999, all have been referred to the species romani. 

 

After the suggestions of some users on this forum and further research online I excitingly noticed some similarities to the molars of Ronzotherium. Straight away I contacted Dr Martin Munt, the curator at the Isle Of Wight's paleontological museum 'Dinosaur Isle' to bring the find to his attention in case it was from Ronzotherium. He passed the images on to colleagues at the Natural History Museum in London, who confirmed the molar as being from Ronzotherium. This was really exciting news to hear considering the rarity of material like this in the Bouldnor fm. The museum staff were really excited too and asked if it would be possible for me to bring the specimen in for them to borrow for a period and look at it in further detail. Suffice to say the molar is on it's way to the museum tomorrow afternoon to be dropped off and spend some time the laboratories there, and if needs be I'm more than happy to make a permanent donation to help learn more about the species and the UK's tertiary past. It's a really exciting find that I feel really lucky to have discovered, and definitely makes 6am starts and Saturday mornings scrambling through fallen trees and mudslides worth it!

 

(I've attached a picture of the specimen below along with a reconstruction of the species, the proto and metaloph are present and so is an intact lingual valley, the enamel is also really well preserved)

 

Image result for ronzotherium

 

IMG_4696.JPG

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Congratulations on your find!  It's always nice to make an important contribution to our studies of ancient life!  If you do decide to donate it, ask the museum if they would be willing to provide you a cast of the specimen in exchange.  It shouldn't be TOO difficult for them to do.

 

-Joe

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Fossildude19

Congratulations on your significant find! 

Glad to hear you are interested in donating it, if asked. 

Well done, sir. :) 

Regards,

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fossilized6s

Congratulations! And, thank you. I'm glad you got a definitive ID. 

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Thank you guys, especially fossilized6s, without your suggestion getting an ID on it would have been a much longer process! Asking them for a cast sounds like a good idea thanks for the suggestion, from my contact Dr Munt I think donating it permanently is something he wants to discuss after their initial study of it so I'll make sure to enquire about it. 

 

 

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Innocentx

Beautiful and rare, too. Congratulations on a very cool find!

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Paleoworld-101

Awesome find!!!! I have collected at Bouldnor a number of times now as well, it really is a fantastic location that doesn't get enough recognition in my opinion. Though maybe that's a good thing for us collectors in the know?!

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Hi, and thank you! No it definitely doesn't, the volume and diversity of material is fantastic! I think it's mostly the poor accessibility and treacherousness of most of that coast that keeps it relatively unknown, plus in terms of interest and fame our Wealden dinosaurs here definitely steal the spotlight over the Paleogene units. 

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JohnBrewer

Nice find! It's one place I like to hunt too. Bit of a pain to access particularly when it's been raining for a few days. 

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Nice find.  

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That is a great find. The preservation and color is beautiful. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really nice find! Congratulations!

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Hi, 

 

Just thought I'd post a quick update on the Ronzotherium molar I found back in April, with some recent developments on it. After being on loan to the museum for just over a month the loan period expired so I got in touch with Dr Munt to check on how things had gone with the specimen etc. and excitingly the museum requested if the specimen could join the collections on a permanent basis, which I completely agreed to (if it belongs anywhere it belongs there) and let them know I'd be more than happy to donate it, so I should be popping in over the weekend or at some point next week to sign the paper work and get it all sorted out. Even more exciting though is that as well as joining the collections the specimen will also go on display at the museum and there's going to be a local press release about the find due to it's rarity! So hopefully it should help more people here become interested in the Island's fantastic palaeontology and the rich tertiary history we have along our north coast!

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Hey TXV24, I'm happy for you. Really wow! for your generosity and rare find.

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fossilized6s

That is wonderful! Great news.

 

Also, if you would like a cast of your find to put in your personal collection most museums will make one free of charge for you. Doesn't hurt to ask. 

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@fossilized6s Thanks for the suggestion I'll make sure to ask them when I head in next week, I think I've heard of them doing casts of some the dino fossils that get donated, so I'll definitely enquire.

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Hi everyone, 

 

Just a third, and probably final, update on the story of the Ronzotherium.  I popped in to Dinosaur Isle this afternoon and met with Martin and some of the rest of the team, to sign over the paper work and discuss the specimen. Before I even managed to ask they said that a cast would be made, and should be completed by the laboratory guys there in the next few weeks and sent my way, which I really appreciated. In terms of display the plan was originally for it to be put up in the 'New Finds' display, but after some discussion it's been decided that it will join the proper Solent Group (Headon Hill, Bembridge Beds, Bouldnor Fm.) display, alongside some of the Island's other Paleogene mammals. It even turns out that the find is not only rare locally but also nationally, with only a handful of specimens ever being found in the UK (constituting a small box at the NHM in London and some casts at Dinosaur Isle) which was really exciting. All that's left for me to do now is write some stuff for the local media for the press release in the coming weeks. So the molar is now officially a part of the collections of Dinosaur Isle, and will help to educate visitors about the fascinating mammals that once roamed the Oligocene sub-tropical swamps of Isle Of Wight.  

 

Thanks, 

 

Theo 

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Sweet!

 

Happy future hunting, Theo.

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On 6/15/2017 at 9:32 AM, TXV24 said:

 to sign over the paper work and discuss the specimen.

Nice find and information on the disposition of it.

 

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