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Ptychodus sp. tooth fragment/cartilage inclusions in coprolite?


GeschWhat

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Hi all,

I was going through some smoky hill chalk coprolites that I recently acquired and found one with some interesting inclusions. At first I was thinking these were skull fragments, but after looking at the Oceans of Kansas site, the only thing that I could find that had a similar texture were Ptychodus sp. teeth and what looks like cartilage. I have never seen cartilage in a coprolite before. I would think it would be easily digested, so perhaps it is just bone. There are also numerous fish bones and scales, so if our poopetrator did dine on Ptychodus, it had a diverse palate. :P I have not seen anything similar and would love your opinions on this. Thank you in advance!

Marine-Coprolite-Ptychodus-Tooth-Fragment-Smoky-Hill-Chalk-10x-Combo-1.jpg

Marine-Coprolite-Ptychodus-Cartilage-Inclusions-10x.jpg

Marine-Coprolite-Ptychodus-Tooth-Fragment-10x-2.jpg

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Very interesting, Lori. It does look like a Ptychodus tooth. I wonder if the poopetrater swallowed his own tooth?

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I think I may be finding cartilage directly associated at the gum line, in 2 petalodus tooth fossils from early Permian, KS.

It looks similar to the outside edge of your 'cartilage' fragment..  I'm wondering if these sharks had a good deal of cartilage in the gums where they attached to the upper part of tooth.

 

Nice photos from your microscope. Who is the manufacturer?

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1 hour ago, Innocentx said:

I think I may be finding cartilage directly associated at the gum line, in 2 petalodus tooth fossils from early Permian, KS.

It looks similar to the outside edge of your 'cartilage' fragment..  I'm wondering if these sharks had a good deal of cartilage in the gums where they attached to the upper part of tooth.

 

Nice photos from your microscope. Who is the manufacturer?

Interesting. I would love to see photos. My microscope is a Celestron stereo microscope. I take the photos through the eyepiece using my iPhone. 

 

1 hour ago, Foozil said:

Very cool. I see now, poop rocks! :P 

Poo IS the best! What I love about it is that many times they contain inclusions that wouldn't otherwise survive the fossilization process. They are like little time capsules. :)

 

3 hours ago, old bones said:

Very interesting, Lori. It does look like a Ptychodus tooth. I wonder if the poopetrater swallowed his own tooth?

I thought of that, but then I would expect the coprolite to have a spiral structure and shell fragment inclusions (assuming that was their diet). Here is another inclusion that I thought could possibly be the backside of a tooth. If they are teeth, they are pretty big inclusions for a coprolite of this size. What do you think?

Marine-Coprolite-Ptychodus-Tooth-Fragment-10x-3.jpg

Marine-Coprolite-Ptychodus-Tooth-Fragment-Smoky-Hill-Chalk-10x-Combo-2.jpg

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Hi @GeschWhat.  Here is the petalodus tooth with possible cartilage or other type connective material. I've seen images of shark cartilage and it doesn't look quite the same but it's Early Permian and the online examples are more recent. Zoom in for detail.

petalodus_tooth_possible_cartilage.JPG

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That is a beautiful specimen @Innocentx. The tissue preservation is amazing. Throw in a little digestion and it does look like the coprolite inclusions could be the edge of connective tissue similar to that on your tooth. Is that the underside of the tooth?

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Thank you, @GeschWhat. This is the outside surface of the tooth with the cutting edge to the top. The structures that the gum anchored to are impressive, complicated. Good thing the hardness of the chert maintained great details of this fossil. This is certainly the luckiest of finds for me. TFF people helped me identify it. Most amazingly, I have found another partial tooth this last week and if I can get my camera working I will post photo here. It has a larger clump(?) of tissue.

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