.87" Theropod (Raptor) Tooth - Two Medicine Formation

 
This is a nice, .87" theropod (raptor) dinosaur tooth from the Two Medicine Formation of Montana. It has good enamel and still retains many of it's serrations. It is in it's natural position in the rock that it was found, though there is one repair and the surrounding rock has been stabalized.

There are a number of theropods known from the Two Medicine Formation with very similar tooth morphology.

Dromaeosaurus
Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
was a small genus of meat eating dinosaurs (raptors) that ripped flesh with its sickle claws and pulverized bone with a powerful bite. Its toothy grasp is suspected to be nearly three times as powerful as that of Velociraptor.

Dromaeosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous period, sometime between 76.5 and 74.8 million years old, in the western United States and Alberta, Canada. Fossil teeth dated to 65.5 million years old may possibly belong to the genus, though these teeth are one of many mysteries that surround Dromaesaurus.

This little beastie’s name means 'running lizard'. Dromaeosaurus was a small carnivore, about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length,15 kg (33 lb) in weight, and stood 1.5 feet tall at the hips. It darted around in a world of other small theropods, ceratopsians, ankylosaurs, 30 ft hadrosaurs, and both small and massive tyrannosauroids.

In the sediments for which they are found, there is selection against the preservation of small theropods. Consequently, little is known about their lifestyle except what can be gleaned from the stories which their teeth reveal. We do know that they frequently shed teeth as they attacked and frenzied over their meals.

Cast of Demaeosaurus foot showing sickle like claws
Cast of Demaeosaurus foot showing sickle like claws
The genus is related to Utahraptor, as may be evident by its deadly toe claw on each foot. Dromaeosaurus varies from its relatives in some traits. It has a short, massive skull, a deep mandible, and robust teeth. The teeth tend to be more heavily worn, suggesting that its jaws were used for crushing and tearing and the giant toe claw may have had other primary uses. These details support a scavenger lifestyle, but as already mentioned, there are few absolute conclusions regarding this robust little theropod.

The Two Medicine Formation is a geographical formation in Central Montana and Southern Alberta, Canada. The formation is predominantly sandstone laid down by rivers and deltas during the Campanian Age of the Cretaceous about 80-75 million years ago. Approximately two thousand feet thick on the western edge, it lies on top of the Virgelle Sandstone formation and under the Bearpaw Shale. It is located between the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and the Sweetgrass Arch, a tectonic fold feature 40-90 miles east of the Front Range.

The Two Medicine is the same age as the Judith River Formation found further east. It was laid down further inland from the Western Interior Seaway, while the Judith River Formation was deposited along the coast. The Two Medicine contains much of the same dinosaur fauna, but fewer reptiles, amphibians and aquatic fossils.

A view of the Two Medicine Formation quarry operated by Northwest Montana Fossils where much of our Two Medicine dinosaur material has been found.
A view of the Two Medicine Formation quarry operated by Northwest Montana Fossils where much of our Two Medicine dinosaur material has been found.

DETAILS
SPECIES
Dromaeosaur?
LOCATION
Pondera County, Montana
FORMATION
Two Medicine Formation
SIZE
.87" tooth, 2.1 x 1.8" rock
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#123515
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