Friday, 12 March 2010

Teeth Revealed

Identifying pterosaur teeth is not easy, especially from photographic evidence. The five teeth below were extracted from my own fossil collection to illustrate the difficulty in knowing that you have a pterosaur fossil tooth. They are all authenticated specimens.

  1. Resin cast of a tooth from Syroccopteryx moroccensis - pterosaur
  2. Geosaurid Crocodile tooth from the Kem-Kem formation, Morocco - non-pterosaur
  3. Steniosaurus tooth collected from the Oxford Clay, UK. - non-pterosaur
  4. Fish tooth, Enchodus sp. from the USA - non-pterosaur
  5. Plesiosaur tooth from the Oxford Clay, UK - non-pterosaur
Many fossil species show a variation in tooth structure throughout the jaw. In the case of 3 - the tooth from the crocodile Steniosaurus durobreviensis, most of the teeth show little resemblance to pterosaur teeth, but in this case, a few broken teeth from the mid jaw could easily be confused if seen in isolation. I used to live near to the quarry where this specimen was found.

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