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Camelid Vs Bovid Teeth Questions


garyc

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My son and I have collected a total of 7 1/2 camel/llama toes. I can't believe we have not found any teeth. So, I went through all the teeth we have and found one that I am unsure of. I really cannot determine what the differences are between camel/llama teeth and bos/bison teeth. The only characteristics I seem to find have to do with presence or lack of stylid and cementum. The actual morphology looks the same to me. Maybe I am overlooking subtle differences? Also, camel/llama teeth seem to be smaller. Any info will be very appreciated. Here is the tooth in question:

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I spent a lot of time learning to distinquish the difference between camel, deer and bison teeth. I bought several examples of each and also studied examples on the internet. The tooth in your picture looks more like a deer tooth. The reason I say this is an important thing to look for is the enamel ridges. They are distinct in camel, deer and bison teeth. There is much more space between the enamel ridges on camel and bison teeth. Deer teeth, the ridges are tighter like the tooth in your picture. Wear can change their appearance and upper and lower teeth are shaped differently. Teeth at different positions on the jaw vary slightly.

Also there is a verticle bone growth common inside the side ridge of both deer and bison which is much more pronounced on bison teeth.

I'm attaching a couple of pictures of what I would call fairly typical, easy to identify camel teeth. Also a deer molar found at Big Brook very similar to your example.

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Edited by jpevahouse
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Deer teeth vary in size, with the smallest ones in the US coming from Florida (the key deer and its closest mainland relative) and the Coues (pronounced "Cows") from southern Arizona. The largest NA Odocoileus is the northeastern/Great Lakes O. virginianis borealis.

Camel teeth also differ in size. Paleolama and Hemiauchenia teeth can be roughly the size of deer, or a little larger, while Camelops, Gigantocamelus and Titanotylopus have huge teeth.

Edited by RichW9090

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

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Thanks for all the info everyone. I'm afraid I will just have to keep posting pics as I find the teeth though. Unless, I can see these teeth in person with one of you pointing out the differences, I'm not sure I will be able to pick out these subtleties myself.

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Ok, while I'm at it, I have suspected that these 3 jaws are all deer. Just want to confirm. Thanks!

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I agree, all appear to be Odocoileus - in different wear stages.

Gary, of the "toes" you've collected are proximal phalanges, good pictures of them should enable an identification - that is a very characteristic bone.

Edited by RichW9090

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

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Rich, you saw the two I posted recently. They are actually in the best condition of all of them. The large one you id'd as camelops. All the others we have are about the same size and looks very similar, but have quite a bit more wear on them.

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Judging from the wear on two of those deer mandible they were senior citizens. The other jaw a young deer. Good examples of how wear changes the appearance of the enamel surface.

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