Fossil of the month: Mammoth tooth

fossil mammoth molar or cheek tooth

Mammoth molar tooth. View from top shows pattern on crown, and from side, shows root. Scale bar equals 2 centimeters.

What to do if you think you've found an Ice Age mamml fossil?

If you find a fossil you suspect is an Ice Age mammal bone, please contact the Kentucky Museum of Anthropology or the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky and don’t excavate the fossil. Many objects people think are fossil bones are not, so its important first to see if your find really is a fossil bone or not. If it is a fossil, removing it in the wrong way could damage the fossil, or important information in the rock or sediment around the fossil. Also, although most Kentucky fossils are not protected by law, Pleistocene (Ice Age) fossil bones can fall under archaeological regulations. Humans hunted mammoths and mastodons. Bones which have evidence of hunting or being scraped for meat, or which were part of burials, etc., are protected by law. Experts are generally needed to determine if a bone represents an archeological find. Also, suspected fossil bones should never be removed from caves in Kentucky. Fossils found in caves are protected by the Kentucky Cave Protection Act.

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Last Modified on 2023-01-05
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