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Big ol' tooth

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  • Big ol' tooth

    Hi folks! Wondering if anyone can identify this tooth, found on the beach amongst rocks on the South West coast of the Isle of Man (Irish sea, near the UK). Currently thought is cow or similar but how it ended up in the sea to reach the beach would be a mystery unless it went for a bit of cliff diving. No idea if it's fossilised or how old it may be. But intrigued and hopeful someone may recognise the species it may have emanated from

  • #2
    Welcome to from another Brit.

    That’s Bovid molar. You can tell from the pattern of the enamel on the occlusal:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Equid, Bovid & Cervid molars.jpg Views:	0 Size:	35.7 KB ID:	542592

    We have had Bison in the UK (and also Musk Ox), but not since the Ice Age and it’s arguable to what extent they were present in terms of numbers. A find would be very rare. However, your tooth doesn’t appear to have that kind of age to it and is well within size range for cows, so that would be my diagnosis.

    Also, that squiggly portion sticking out from the main body of the tooth is known as a “stylid”. In cattle, it’s attached to, but not isolated from the tooth (like yours). In Bison, it’s usually a discrete column of enamel which is not continuous with the rest of the tooth.

    Historic butchery and abattoir practice may have seen animal bones dumped in rivers to get washed out to sea and I guess cows drown from time to time, especially at times when we have had severe floods. You only need to go back to 1607 when a catastrophic storm surge hit the Bristol Channel and Severn estuary, drowning around 2,000 people and inundating 200 square miles of farmland together with its livestock.
    Last edited by painshill; 03-22-2021, 12:08 PM.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.


    • #3
      Thanks shame it's a plane old cow but good to know thanks! No way to gauge the age of these things I guess?


      • painshill
        painshill commented
        Editing a comment
        Not really in most cases, I'm afraid.

    • #4
      It's still a cool looking tooth. Did I ever tell you about that mooing story I heard through the bovine?
      South Carolina