Is This a Tooth or Tusk? Animal Ivory Beach Find?

by David and Lin Schneider
(Huanchaco, Peru, South America)



~ submitted by David Schneider in Huanchaco, Peru

Lin and I were looking for sea glass here the other day and I found this tooth or bone.

I wasn't able to identify it, but it looks like the ivory that friends of mine used to make scrimshaw with.

We were wondering if any of you viewers have experience with some of the sea creatures like sea lions, whales, etc, that produce animal ivory of this type.

If you can give some information or links to information, please include them below.

You never know what will turn up on a beach.

Hopefully, no human remains or radioactive stuff.

I remember once someone asking me what I was looking for as we scrabbled for sea glass.

I said I was looking for a Rolex watch.

He asked if I had lost one.

I said, "No, but if someone did, I want to be the one to find it."

He didn't know whether I was serious or not...

Well, we've never found a Rolex.

We did find a camera once that some had dropped. This was a long way from the parking area and we were on our way back.

Since few people walked that far down the beach, I decided to leave it in a visible place.

I took a photograph of my business card on their camera. Then I told several people who were heading to ask whoever they ran into if they had lost their camera and then describe where I left it.

To make it easy to find, I put it on top of a head-high rock with a piece of straight drifted propped up pointing to the camera.

Sure enough, we later got a text message that the person who had lost the camera heard from another 'glasser and was able to find their camera.

On the other hand, if you've lost a Rolex, I don't know where it is... but I will tell you if it's keeping the correct time or not....

Back to the subject - Animal Ivory? Let us know.

Thank you in advance,

UPDATE Octobrer 30, 2013

We've found some more of these recently - pretty positive that these are horse or cow teeth. Here's the latest:

beach combing finds teeth from sea glass hunt

~ submitted by David Schneider

sea glass colors line

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Comments for Is This a Tooth or Tusk? Animal Ivory Beach Find?

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Nov 24, 2013
Me too...........
by: Anonymous

I've found a near match for the same one in the photo.

Found in beach gravels near Capistrano Beach, CA..........

Oct 11, 2013
Most likely fossil horse
by: Scott, Mercyhurst University paleontologist

Peru has fossil horses and this looks like a horse tooth.

Note the incurved enamel.

The bicuspid shaped roots are also similar to some horse teeth.

This is a herbivore tooth and that rules out sea elephants whales, seals etc.

A good find!

Sep 19, 2013
Walrus/Elephant Seal Tusk
by: Laura from RI


It's not a cow or horse tooth, but it appears to look like a walrus/elephant seal bi-cuspid...(dog tooth).

Laura from RI

Sep 18, 2013
Horse Tooth?
by: Darren

It is a tooth - looks like horse, but it is very surf-tumbled to correctly identify it.

If you look on photo 3 you can see the tooth growth patterns.

Sep 18, 2013
Cow's Tooth
by: Kate Messer

Looks like a well worn cows tooth to me....

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