Wild Animals/Tooth


Tooth 2
Tooth 2  
Tooth 1
Tooth 1  
QUESTION: I have this large tooth and am not sure what type of animal it came from.  It seems like a grinding tooth because it is flat on top.  Any ideas?


ANSWER: Dear Meagan

Thank you for your question and photos. I guess that the tooth is about 2-2.5 inches (5-6 cm) long and about 1-1.25 inches (2.5-3 cm) wide. The whitish area is the bit that would have been inside the jaw bone, while the brown area is the bit on the outside.

Please can you let me know if you found the tooth in Texas. If not, do you know where it came from? You're right that it does come from a large animal, but there are a few alternatives at the moment (including juvenile and adult animals) and I would like to narrow down the options.

All the best


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

 I appreciate you taking the time to answer me.  I got the tooth from the Tacoma Washington area out of an estate.  It measures almost 2 inches long by to close to .75 inches wide.


Dear Meagan

Thank you for the additional information. I have looked at several photos of animal teeth and wish to thank the authors of the websites I used, such as http://www.hideandfur.com/inventory/TeethClaws.html, https://web.orange.co.uk/r/login/?ServiceId=mdsp&target=http%3A%2F%2Femail.orange.co.uk%2Fservice%2FSA%3FVS%3DMAILWELCOME%26locale%3Den_GB%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Femail10.orange.co.uk%252Fwebmail%252Fen_GB%252Fread.html%253F%2526SORTBY%253D1%2526check%253D%2526FOLDER%253DSF_INBOX%2526IDMSG%253D113%2526dub%253D1, http://www.chichesterinc.com and http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=1&gs_ri=hp&cp=9&gs_id=x.

I think the tooth is from an elk or wapiti (http://www.chichesterinc.com/RealisticElkTeeth.htm). The photos at the top of http://www.chichesterinc.com/ElkIvories.htm look similar to the tooth you found.

If the tooth isn't an example of elk ivory, I think it comes from a similar animal.

I hope this helps

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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