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What weighs nearly 5 pounds, has no cavities, bright enamel ? A mastodon tooth, of course, and among our hundreds of geological and fossil specimens, this massive tooth is indeed the giant. While on a research trip to Canada in 1978 for my first book (on the Klondike gold rush I had the privilege of wandering a full day through the countryside near Dawson City, Yukon, with a minor who had worked that ground himself since the 1930s. Canadian law forbids the removal of ANY artifacts found on public lands. While digging through an 1890s garbage mound (already picked over by bottle hunters) I found a piece of Mastodon tusk…and was about to toss aside a huge chunk of tree root-until my guide pointed out it went with the tusk. That was my introduction to mastodon teeth! That first one had to stay in Canada, but this one, cleaned and still surrounded by the rock and gravel in which it was found, has been on my desk for more than ten years. It's time to make room for other paperweights! Barely able to fit in the palm of your hand, this tooth the breadth and thickness of about 1.5 bricks has virtually all the Mastodon's dental enamel in place and the tooth surface shows strong wear from continual browsing for and chewing plants. The huge animals, much like the wooly mammoth in appearance, roamed various parts of the earth 100,000 years ago and specimens are believed to have lived in North America as recently as 5,000 years ago. A wonderful specimen for the serious student of science-or the amateur fan of the incredible archeological, anthropological and geological finds still available to us as we study many facets of history.

The top photo shows the flat chewing surface, while the bottom photo (the opposite view) shows the part of the tooth that would be imbedded in the gum/jaw of the mastodon. The chewing surface of the tooth is some nine inches long—a pretty healthy-sized molar.


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To Order or Inquire about items listed here, please contact Norm Bolotin at or toll-free 1-877-585-8818.

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