COMPLETE MASTODON TUSK WITH FULL TIP FROM YOUNG BULL ELEPHANT
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
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
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
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
TUSK IS FAR MORE RARE THAN ANY MAMMOTH TUSK -
FOR THE FINEST OF COLLECTIONS!
IMPRESSIVE TO VIEW AS AN INTERIOR DESIGN "NATURAL SCULPTURE" AS IT IS
EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE IN RARITY!
length on the outside curve, circumference is 14" at thickest point
Item - One Only