Mississippian - Salem Formation
St. Louis, Missouri
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The Salem Formation is known for well preserved teeth.
This tooth was not visible the day before a rain storm. Teeth are porous
and absorb moisture and will expand causing any thin layer of matrix
covering the tooth to crack and fall off.
The teeth (mostly broken) that I found on the ground around the limestone
didn't weather out from the shale. They weathered out of the limestone and
if these teeth were in good condition, they recently popped out of the limestone.
Teeth will not survive long when exposed to the elements.
The rock saw was used to remove this piece from a large bolder. There is
no preparation on this tooth and it appears today as when it was collected.
I always take a gallon of water and a spray bottle when fossil hunting.
Especially good idea when hunting for teeth on a dry hot summer day.
Misting suspect matrix will instantly reveal little shinny parts of teeth
that might not have been noticed with out using this technique.
Voice of experience: When preparing teeth at home ... I use a moist cloth
and never soak teeth in water. Too much moisture soaking into teeth can
cause them to expand and crack. Picture 2 ... You will notice a small crack
(at 2 o'clock running the full width of the tooth) which was caused by
moisture soaking into the fossil during the rain storm. This tooth would
not have survived (in tack) if exposed to another rain.
Another Deltodus tooth found at the same locality Click Here
This tooth was collected in a very rare fossiliferous soft shale pocket.
Below the pictures (on the above page) you will see a couple of links
to other fossils collected in this rare soft shale deposit.
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