Finally Identified

February, 2010

I have a habit of tossing questionable items into a bag or container for closer examination later on. For the most part these things turn out to be just junk, every once in a great while I get a hit. In this particular case what appeared to be a small broken shark tooth in the field ended up being something I had never seen before. I emailed some pictures around and the general consensus was fish, possibly Enchodus?
While I was able to locate a second specimen╣, this one was also an unknown.  This tooth remained unidentified for over a year until the topic came up again in a conversation with a friend about the Inversand Mine, in Sewell, NJ. With a renewed interest I forwarded the pictures to Dave Parris and Jason Schein at the New Jersey State Museum and within a day had my answer along with some very interesting comments.

"Our NJSM 14001, an Enchodus cf. ferox, has a very similar lateral tooth.
  The curvatures are similar, and there are small serrations along each edge."
 Dave Parris

 


 



Lateral Enchodus cf. Ferox.
18mm is a little under 1/2 inch.
(Found at the Inversand Mine, in Sewell, NJ. by
 R. DePaul and J. Whitley)

 


 


The tooth is serrated, has a median ridge and striations at
the base of the crown.

 


 


A close up of the very fine serrations.
 


 

 

The second specimen I located was identified only as fish.
I did get the opportunity to examine this specimen, courtesy
of Ralph Johnson, Maps Collection (MAPS A1043a1)╣.
 


 

A special thanks to Dave Parris and Jason Schein at the NJ State Museum for taking the time to make this identification and for putting up with all my follow up questions.

 


 

╣Landman, N.H., Johnson, R.O., Garb, M.P., and Edwards, L.E., and Kyte, F.T., 2007, Cephalopods from the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary interval on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with a description of the highest ammonite zones in North America, Part III, Manasquan River Basin, Monmouth County, New Jersey: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, No. 303, 122 p.
 

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