OF GOMPHOTHERE PREHISTORIC ELEPHANT MOLARS FROM THE SAME ANIMAL
Beaufort - South Carolina, U.S.A.
MIOCENE TO PLIOCENE PERIOD: 23.3 - 1.8 million years ago
This is a supreme
grade and VERY
rare set of matching molars from the
same prehistoric elephant
Gomphotherium sp.. This giant of the last Ice Age was a
bizarre prehistoric ancestor to the modern day elephant. Such a set of fossil teeth is
very rare from this animal!
Quite frankly, ANY fine grade fossils of gomphotheres are the rarest of all
prehistoric proboscidean remains but a set of fossil teeth such as these
are really a
superb display fossil in such a spectacular state of preservation and
color. The molars are complete and 100% natural as found with none of the cusps missing
or crown broken off as is the case with many elephant fossils.
The amazing color is a mix of blue, white and black and is
completely natural. A custom handmade stand elevates and shows of
the set as they would have been in the jaw - each molar is a
corresponding identical position in each jaw as they were in the skull. These are completely natural and not a result
of any fabrication. The molars have stabilized fissures in the
outer layer of enamel but they are solid and stable and there is NO
REPAIR OR RESTORATION.
The molars shows wonderful natural feeding wear and display a highly
informative example of the unique anatomy of gomphothere cusp design.
Gomphothere fossils are very rare. Even a single
lose molar tooth is a prize find but a MATCHING SET OF INTACT MOLARS
FROM THE SAME GOMPHOTHERE is something usually reserved for museum
or educational institution collections.
ARE THE RAREST OF ALL ELEPHANT FOSSILS!!!
is usually not possible to attribute isolated teeth such as these, to a
specific species of the Gomphotherium genus without cranial elements
present hence, our lack of said identification with this listing.
are strange prehistoric elephants that resembled a Mastodon but with a
set of large lower tusks as well as the upper set of tusks the other
Their grinding teeth, for
example, had many more cusps and more complicated wear patterns than
those of mastodons.
Gomphotheres belong to the
family Gomphotheriidae, a family within the mammal order Proboscidea
that have been
extinct since the Pleistocene Period. Gomphotheres are regarded as the ancestor
to the genus Stegodon as well
as mammoths and both
the present living species of
Gomphotheres had both upper and lower incisor tusks.
sometimes nicknamed "shovel tuskers" for this feature.
Unlike the compact
and high domed skull of the mammoths, the skull of gomphotheres was elongate and low.
They seemed well-adapted for a life in lakes and swamps where they
used their tusks to dig or scrape up the vegetation.
Emerging 55 million
years ago, the group of mammals called proboscideans are identified by
the presence of tusks and a trunk. They comprise three families: Mammutidae, Gomphotheriidae and Elephantidae.
The oldest known proboscideans in North America date back to the Miocene.
Cuvieronius, the last genus of New World gomphotheres to become
extinct, was widely distributed in North, Central, and South America.
All elephant species in these regions became extinct 11,000 years ago.
Differences in proboscidean tooth anatomy tell us about the types of food
The mastodon was more suited for forest environments with teeth that
were well adapted for chewing tougher vegetation like twigs, leaves,
shrubs, fruits, pinecones, pine needles and mosses. Gomphotheres
likely fed on aquatic vegetation with their complicated, rounded cusp
pattern. The mammoth
with its smoother teeth, was best suited for the open plains, feeding on
a variety of grasses.
have a system of horizontal tooth replacement whereby new
molars erupt from the rear of the jaw and move forward. The most
worn teeth at the front, are pushed out of the jaw. Sometimes
while still in the jaw, the anterior portion of a worn front tooth is
broken off. These partial teeth are found as fossils along with
complete specimens. A baby proboscidean at
age 6, will have already had three sets of teeth. By 13 years of
age, the fourth set emerges followed by a fifth set at age 27
years. The final set of teeth come in around 43 years of age and
as it wears away, the animal eventually starves to death and dies on
average between 60 and 80 years of age. Interestingly, the animal's life is
limited by the fact that after the sixth set, no new teeth grow in to
replace the final worn down set and the animal is no longer able to chew
its food. This characteristic is still true of modern
A GRADE 10
MATCHING SET OF PRISTINE GOMPHOTHERE MOLARS WITH NO REPAIR OR RESTORATION -
for the set of two LM15-018
INCLUDES CUSTOM STAND