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1044 Views 8 Replies Last post: Jul 11, 2012 2:13 PM by Bethany RSS
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Jul 7, 2012 6:20 AM

Partial jaw/skull bone

Hello!  I found this piece of bone washed up on a beach in French Polynesia.  It's a really strong, dense bone and not like any fish bones I have ever seen.  It intrigues me that the molars seem to be twisted toward what I assume is the cheek.  Also, I believe the teeth are upper teeth, since there is a projection above the sharper teeth, but I don't understand why the bone above the molars is round and smooth like a mandible.  I would have expected it to look like it had broken off from the skull...   I'm completely confused and really can't picture the face that went around this bone!    Any help at all would be appreciated!  If nothing else, can you tell me if it is a fish or mammal?

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    Jul 7, 2012 7:55 PM (in response to Bethany)
    Re: Partial jaw/skull bone

    I'm in! I put a squid on a fish.

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      Jul 9, 2012 7:52 AM (in response to Episcophagus)
      Re: Partial jaw/skull bone

      I'm not so sure. Fish in my experience tend to have peg-like teeth and do not differentiate with ?molars and ?canines.  It is difficult to imagine what this is or to say whether this is an upper or lower jaw.

      If it is a fish one of likely things it would have eaten to need the grinding teeth is molluscs.

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    Jul 9, 2012 1:49 PM (in response to Bethany)
    Re: Partial jaw/skull bone

    On second thoughts we used to catch a fish with large grinding teeth off Shetland.  Anarhichas lupus the wolffish occurs  in the Atlantic but there is another species living in the northern Pacific.  These powerful fish feed on crabs and molluscs hence the large "molars".  they also have many sharp pointed teeth at the front of the jaw.  If you look at Wikipedia for Anarhichas lupus there is a picture of the skeletal head which may conform to your sample.

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        Jul 10, 2012 7:59 AM (in response to Bethany)
        Re: Partial jaw/skull bone

        My thought is a Sparidae too. Like Sparus aurata, which however is an Atlantic species.

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        Jul 10, 2012 12:16 PM (in response to Bethany)
        Re: Partial jaw/skull bone

        Hi,

        I think your id as Monotaxis grandoculis is almost certainly the correct one. I found this figure from a scientific journal, it is fig.8 if your scroll down the page.

        The dentition and jaw profile is almost identical to your specimen.

         

        Jen

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