The tooth is a big clue…

30 08 2007

It’s going to take a little while to get my latest paleo-post up and running, but in the meantime I thought I would put up a bit of a “teaser.” The following picture is of the remains of the skull studied and described by a persnickety British anatomist during the 19th century, and is the focus of my current project.

Skull

I can’t think of any sort of “prize” that I’d be able to give for anyone who correctly identifies the fossil, although the self satisfaction from figuring it out should be a pretty good ego-boost in-and-of itself.


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6 responses

30 08 2007
johannes

Large, shear-like, somewhat plagiaulacoid looking premolars, but too large and robust for a multi (and lacking a multi’s typical molars, too)? Described by a persnickety victorian anatomist – sounds like Owen? Thylacoleo?

30 08 2007
Zach Miller

Are those…jaw fragments on bottom center and bottom right? If so, they look like shearing teeth. It’s definately mammalian, given the shape of the skull…almost like a bear. If those line drawings are any indication, it’s got split roots on the teeth, so we’re probably talking premolars. But premolars that are sloped and smooth? Again, shearing teeth?

I’m just confused, now.😦

30 08 2007
laelaps

It’s definitely a mammal and those are definitely teeth used for shearing. Here’s another hint; it belongs to the same Infraclass as the Virginia Opossum.

30 08 2007
Zach Miller

Got it. It’s Thylacoleo carnifex!

31 08 2007
laelaps

Both of you guys got it! I’ve been holding off on putting it up as I’ve been waiting on permission to use a rather striking reconstruction that was made the year before last, and hopefully I’ll have it up today. Congrats to both of you!

12 03 2012
Angela Englander

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