Dakota Datebook

Paleo-dentist

Saturday, October 6, 2012

 

Was evidence of a paleo-dentist found in eastern Dunn County on this date in 1936? Probably not, but Walter Burgess was in Killdeer exhibiting a large tooth he found in a gravel pit fifteen miles south of Dodge. The tooth weighed four pounds, was five inches high and fourteen inches around. The biting surface was two and a half inches wide and four inches long.

 

What Mr. Burgess stumbled upon was probably the tooth of a wooly mammoth, which had inhabited the area some eleven thousand years ago. These elephant-like creatures grew to about nine feet high, and the large teeth helped grind the huge volume of grasses and other vegetation they required each day. Unfortunately, no evidence of dental work was found.

 

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis

 

Sources:

 

The Killdeer Herald October 8, 1916

North Dakota Fossil Website at https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndfossil/poster/PDF/Mammuthus%20primigenius.pdf

 

 

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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