Woolly Mammoth Tooth - SOLD 3.85" Polished Block - Alaskan
Woolly Mammoth Tooth - SOLD 3.85" Polished Block - Alaskan
A full-grown woolly mammoth, just one species of the genus Mammuthus, stood 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3.5 m) at the shoulder, with a shaggy coat of hair. The woolly mammoth's hair provided a substantial advantage in the struggle to stay warm. This specimen is a 3.85" polished block cross-section from an Alaskan Woolly Mammoth.
Their high-crowned molars were pleated with ridges of enamel: somewhat similar to the dentition of the modern Asian elephant, but distinct from the fewer, diamond-shaped, enamel plates of the African elephant. The morphology of mammoth teeth and the distribution of mammoth remains suggests mammoths were predominantly grazers subsisting mainly upon grasses and sedges, a diverse biomass that the modern Arctic tundra doesn’t approach.
📸 One of our several polished slabs
Woolly Mammoth Tooth Specimens
The morphology of mammoth teeth and the distribution of mammoth remains suggests mammoths were predominantly grazers subsisting mainly upon grasses and sedges, a diverse biomass that the modern Arctic tundra doesn’t approach.
This specimen is a beautifully polished cross-section of a Woolly Mammoth tooth. During the Pleistocene, these majestic creatures roamed the Earth and were a great bounty to our ancient ancestors.
📸 Note the beautiful blue tinge present in some molar patterns
This piece is a completely unique specimen which dates back to the Pleistocene. The tooth piece has been hand polished to reveal the incredible pattern of the mammoth's teeth as well as the vibrant coloring which has occured as the material was fossilized.
The tooth section is shipped with a certificate of authenticity as well as an informational photo card.
In your piece, you may find beautiful creams, browns, yellows, and even blues. This rare blue coloring comes from a chemical interaction between the tooth and the soil which creates the mineral vivianite.
Please Note: Each mammoth tooth cross-section is completely unique. Every one is sold by size and no two are exactly alike. You can see all the available cross-sections as well as full teeth at the collection below.
MORE ABOUT Woolly Mammoths
"Various legends exist about frozen mammoths. It has been said that the scientists who excavated the Beresovka mammoth, discovered in the year 1900, enjoyed a banquet on mammoth steak. What really appears to have happened is that one of them made a heroic attempt to take a bite out of this meat but was unable to keep it down, in spite of a generous use of spices." ~ Björn Kurtén in "How to Deep Freeze a Mammoth"
The History of Mammoths
Roughly the mass of a modern African elephant, the woolly mammoth evolved some 400,000 years ago in Siberia from the steppe mammoth widespread on that continent, and ultimately spread westward into Europe and eastward into North America via the Beringian land bridge that once connected modern-day Russia and Alaska.
This event may have been the second mammoth invasion of the New World, as the steppe mammoth forayed to North America about 1.5 million years ago and evolved there into the endemic (and enormous) Columbian mammoth.
Mammoths were an important food source to early humans and neanderthals. They even used their bones and hides to create huts and other structures.
📸 Brilliant coloring on Mammoth tooth fossils
In Pleistocene North America, woolly mammoths primarily roamed the cold, treeless tundra-grasslands immediately below the continental ice sheets—the American reach of the mammoth steppe—while Columbian mammoths occupied a more southerly, temperate range encompassing most of today's Lower 48 States and which extended deep into Mexico.
They shared this territory with fellow Pleistocene grazers, subsisting mainly on grasses and sedges along with willows, alders, and other stunted trees that grew sparsely in the high-latitude steppe lands, far more diverse biomass than the modern Arctic tundra.
After disappearing from continental ranges roughly 10,000 years ago, small, isolated populations of woolly mammoth survived on Alaska's St. Paul Island until about 5,600 years ago and on Russia's Wrangel Island until perhaps 4,000 years ago. All of these pockets eventually died out due to the lack of genetic diversity that comes from metropolitan interactions with larger populations.
📸 A 2.75" Polished Block of Alaskan Woolly Mammoth Tooth with rare, blue Vivianite running throughout.
Babe the Big Blue... Mammoth?
Some woolly mammoth teeth have been discovered with a uniquely blue coloring to them. This stunning shade is due to vivianite implantations, a mineral formed by the combination of animal phosphorous and iron in the soil.
Vivianite is usually pale or colorless when it forms, but when it is exposed to air the oxidation causes it to turn to a brilliant blue. In the right conditions, this process can produce incredible streaks of dark to light blue coloring in mammoth teeth, which is an incredible reminder as to the deep history of the fossil.
Interestingly, this can also occur on the skin of a well perserved animal as well. In fact, some ancient bisons have been found in the ice with blue coatings over their horns and bodies. It reminds us of the other famous blue megafauna we know: Babe the Big Blue Ox!
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
Kurtén, Björn. How to deep-freeze a mammoth. Columbia University Press, 1986.
Bocherens, Hervé, et al. "Isotopic evidence for diet and subsistence pattern of the Saint-Césaire I Neanderthal: review and use of a multi-source mixing model." Journal of human evolution 49.1 (2005): 71-87.
Sherkow, Jacob S., and Henry T. Greely. "What if extinction is not forever?." Science 340.6128 (2013): 32-33.
Cooper, Alan, et al. "Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover." Science (2015): aac4315.
Tikhonov, Alexei, Larry Agenbroad, and Sergey Vartanyan. "Comparative analysis of the mammoth populations on Wrangel Island and the Channel Islands." Advances in Mammoth Research 9 (2003): 415-420.
Barrow, Mark V. Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology. University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Neanderthal Classic Riker Box Stone Tool Fragment