Two Desmostylus Molars (Hippo-Like Animal) In Rock - California

 
 
This is a pair of fossil molars of Desmostylus hesperus, an extinct Hippopotamus-like animal. These odd looking teeth were collected from the Miocene aged Temblor Formation in California.

One molar is 1.2" wide and the other partial molar is 1.6" wide. They are still embedded in the rock they were found in which is full of fossil shells.

Desmostylus was most likely amphibious and probably lived in shallow water of coastal regions. This is based on studies of the isotopes in it's teeth and bones that indicate it's diet was mainly aquatic freshwater plants. It's was a large animal reaching sizes of about 6 feet long and 450 pounds. It had a short tail and powerful legs with four hooves. Both the creature's jaws were elongated and sported forward-facing tusks, which were elongated canines and incisors.

Artists reconstruction of Desmostylus.  By Dmitry Bogdanov
Artists reconstruction of Desmostylus. By Dmitry Bogdanov
DETAILS
SPECIES
Desmostylus hesperus
LOCATION
Kern County, California
FORMATION
Temblor Formation
SIZE
Molars 1.6" & 1.2" wide, Rock 2.8x2.3"
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#154322
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