Phatfossils - Gomphotherium Calvertensis Associated Find

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Gomphotherium Calvertensis

A Gomphotherium Calvertensis is a extinct prehistoric proboscidean or elephant species that lived during the Miocene epoch. Gomphotheroium fossils have been scarcely collected from the Chesapeake group of Maryland and Virginia. Gomphotheres are set aside from most common species of elephants such as the wolly mammoth or columbian mammoth by the existence of both upper and lower tusks. It is commonly thought the lower tusks were used for digging and foraging. Finding a single fossil specimen from a Gomphotherium in the mid atlantic Miocene marine sediments is quite uncommon, finding an associated set it probably unheard of. These three tusks, two uppers and a lower and the four lower teeth\jaw sections were collected in a little over a years time. A section of cliff containing choptank formation had been steadily dropping on the beach and from time to time these fossils would show up. This by far is one of the coolest things I have ever found

Pictured are side and top views of the lower left jaw assembled from two pieces. The two jaw sections fit together pretty well, I love how the teeth seem to lock together. These were the first teeth of the animal I collected and they were found on the same day within a foot of each other. Click on the picture for a close view of the fossil.
Pictured are side and top views of the lower right jaw assembled from two pieces. Just like on the other side of the jaw the teeth and jaw fit quite nicely together. These two teeth were found on the same day within a few feet of each other.Click on the picture for a close view of the fossil.
Here we have sections of the upper tusks displayed. Gomphotherium upper tusks have bands of enamel as shown here. The back photo is of the tipped tusk, amazing how smooth it is. The first piece of this animal I found was the larger end of the tipped tusk. Glad I was able to find the tip on the same day, it makes a world of difference in my opinion. Click on the fossils for a larger image.
Here were have part of the lower tusk, lower tusks were one of the traits of Gomphotheres. I wish I had been able to find one of these complete but I guess the rest can still show. This tusk does display a great example of the cross hatching pattern that develops on fossil ivory. Click on the fossil for a larger image.

Below are photos of the separate teeth that make up the jaw sections above. You can see how this tooth has cone like structures that make up the crown. This is a distinctive of Gomphotherium elephant teeth. All four of these teeth are from the lower Jaw and I believe them to be the M3 and M4.