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EXTREMELY RARE COMPLETE MASTODON TUSK WITH FULL TIP FROM YOUNG BULL ELEPHANT

Santa Fe River, Florida, U.S.A.

PLEISTOCENE PERIOD:  1.8 million - 10,000 years ago

A Mastodon tusk is far more rare than a mammoth tusk and the overall lack of complete mastodon tusks for purchase compared to mammoth tusks demonstrates this.  Finding a complete, well-preserved tusk of the Mastodon is a PRIZE SPECIMEN in any collection no matter how advanced.  This is an extremely rare offering as it is a complete mastodon tusk from a young male bull elephant, known as Mammut americanum or the 'American' mastodon.  This is the complete tusk that would have protruded out from the skull.  The proximal portion that was embedded  in the skull is not present.  The thickness, rapid tapering and complete, complete tip shows that this is the full tusk.  Mastodons did not have long elaborately curved tusks like mammoths due to the wooded environments that mastodons lived in.  We know this tusk was from a young male because other remains of the animal were found in association with this tusk.  The espresso brown (nearly black) color is due to the extreme long term exposure of the tusk to the river tannins in the water.  There are areas of lighter color where the ivory shows through but the photos do not convey this.  Tusk has a single repair near the tip with about 2 to 3 inches of area filled and restored.  The tusk has been stabilized and sealed to preserve its condition.  The tusk is solid and the natural fossil ivory texture and detail is beautifully shown. 

This spectacular tusk is a highly scarce specimen.  The tusk is with its ORIGINAL tip.  This specimen is unlike many woolly mammoth tusks where a broken end of a simple tusk section is filed down to appear like a tip and sell for a higher price (complete tusks with original tips are worth more).  It is also not made up of multiple parts of different tusks to make a single tusk, another common practice of woolly mammoth tusks sold on the market.  We received this fine specimen directly as it was found and did all the work in our lab so we can accurately attest to the true nature of all work performed. 

For the ultimate fossil tusk collector, Ice Age collection, museum exhibit or den, this is truly, a very attractive and visually impressive piece as well as being an EXTRAORDINARILY RARE tusk.  The Mastodon was the bulldozer of prehistoric Ice Age elephants - an elephant built for power and strength.  Such a robust yet compact tusk tells a story of this mighty giant of the forest during the planet's final Ice Age.


Emerging 55 million years ago, the group of mammals called proboscideans are identified by the presence of tusks and a trunk and comprise three families: Mammutidae, Gomphotheriidae and Elephantidae.  In Florida, the mastodon, a member of the family Mammutidae (mammoths are members of Elephantidae), represents one of two of the oldest known proboscideans first dating back to the Miocene.  They became extinct 11,000 years ago along with all other proboscideans in Florida.  

When standing aside a mammoth, the mastodon looks just like a Neanderthal version of the proboscideans.  The body form is shorter, more stout and robust and lends itself to a much more muscular physique in contrast to the more graceful and taller mammoth.  The cheek teeth of mastodons are also more primitive with sharp crests and a dramatic lobed surface in unworn examples compared to the flat and fine ridged surface of mammoth teeth that resemble the sole of a boating sneaker.  These differences tell us about the types of food that both types of creatures ate.  The tusks of the mastodon are not as long or dramatically curved like their mammoth cousins.  Such large tusks would have made traversing the heavily wooded regions in which it thrived very difficult.  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.  The mammoth with its smoother teeth, was best suited for the open plains feeding on a variety of grasses.  

A mastodon, like all proboscideans, has 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 elephants.  

A MASTODON TUSK IS FAR MORE RARE THAN ANY MAMMOTH TUSK - PRIZE SPECIMEN FOR THE FINEST OF COLLECTIONS!

AS IMPRESSIVE TO VIEW AS AN INTERIOR DESIGN "NATURAL SCULPTURE" AS IT IS EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE IN RARITY!

30" in length on the outside curve, circumference is 14" at thickest point

SOLD     LM15-023      INCLUDES STAND     Actual Item - One Only

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER MASTODON FOSSILS FOR SALE

Florida 'American' Mastodon

Comparison of the skeletal structure and body types of a Florida 'American' Mastodon (left)

and a Florida 'Columbian' Mammoth (right)

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