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Mystery Jaw


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So I have a new mystery. I found this jawbone in miocene gravel. I found mastodon enamel right next to this. I believe this jaw to either be a cat of some kind or raccoon. It shows signs of being both fossilized and not. It's hard a little heavy and sounds like stone when hit against other stone objects, with a slightly less hard tink sound than that of my sharks teeth but it still sounds like stone. The teeth are still white though, however the two smaller teeth have hard sediment still attached to them and the larger tooth has similar sediment stuck in the part of the tooth that is missing. It's hard to tell if this is a fossil or not. Is it possible for something to be half fossilized? 

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Bronzviking

Cool find! Can I see you Mastodon enamel? Thanks!

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Thats a cool find--fossil or otherwise.   It does look to be raccoon but I defer to Harry @Harry Pristisand the other experts. My reasoning--I thought raccoon had more lower teeth than the cats do. I'm kind of curious in the raccoon lower jaws that i've found/seen why those small premolars seem to hang in the jaw more frequently than the molars when things are missing...maybe thats just anecdotal/coincidental on my part or maybe tooth socket tightness or something else is going on...maybe Harry has noticed something similar with tooth retention. Maybe I'm just all wet as I have been known to be...The whiteness does seem to suggest a more recent animal but I'll let the other Peace watershed collectors comment on the degree of mineralization present...

 

Regards, Chris 

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Harry Pristis

 

Recent raccoon, I'd say.

 

 

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:50 PM, Plantguy said:

My reasoning--I thought raccoon had more lower teeth than the cats do. I'm kind of curious in the raccoon lower jaws that i've found/seen why those small premolars seem to hang in the jaw more frequently than the molars when things are missing...maybe thats just anecdotal/coincidental on my part or maybe tooth socket tightness or something else is going on...maybe Harry has noticed something similar with tooth retention.

Just to confirm what others have said and add a bit of reasoning. It does appear to be a raccoon and the difference between a cat and a raccoon in the lower jaw is several teeth. The lower jaw dental formula for a cat is 3-1-2-1 and a raccoon is 3-1-4-2 so the raccoon has two more premolars and one more molar per side. See the picture I have attached of a cat skull and a raccoon lower jaw just under it for comparison.  

 

@Plantguy you are correct that sometimes the premolars seem to hang in there better. I have seen on several animals that the root of the tooth is curved or hooked so that even in a dried skull, the tooth will be loose, but will not come easily out of the socket. 

 

I am am not well versed as to how far back in time the raccoon has been found, so I would not go too far out on a limb as to the age of it. Could be modern, could be somewhat older, either way, I always enjoy a nice skull or piece thereof. 

 

 

B95F5C9A-B804-466F-81B6-A982DC4E8610.jpeg

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20 hours ago, ClearLake said:

Just to confirm what others have said and add a bit of reasoning. It does appear to be a raccoon and the difference between a cat and a raccoon in the lower jaw is several teeth. The lower jaw dental formula for a cat is 3-1-2-1 and a raccoon is 3-1-4-2 so the raccoon has two more premolars and one more molar per side. See the picture I have attached of a cat skull and a raccoon lower jaw just under it for comparison.  

 

@Plantguy you are correct that sometimes the premolars seem to hang in there better. I have seen on several animals that the root of the tooth is curved or hooked so that even in a dried skull, the tooth will be loose, but will not come easily out of the socket. 

 

I am am not well versed as to how far back in time the raccoon has been found, so I would not go too far out on a limb as to the age of it. Could be modern, could be somewhat older, either way, I always enjoy a nice skull or piece thereof. 

 

 

B95F5C9A-B804-466F-81B6-A982DC4E8610.jpeg

Those are cool..I started bringing recent jaw fragments home for comparisons as well. Just what I need another pile of stuff! LOL. 

Regards, Chris 

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