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Deinothere jaw from geological collection of grammar school in Ptuj


, : Deinothere jaw from geological collection of grammar school in Ptuj. Razprave - Slovenska Akademija Znanosti in Umetnosti Razred za Naravoslovne Vede = Dissertationes - Academia Scientiarum et Artium Slovenica

In spite of the heavily damaged lower jaw and its teeth it can be stated with certainty that the "Ptuj jawbone" belongs to the largest proboscid species of all times, to the species Deinotherium giganteum (Kaup, 1829) that is the most frequent and easiest recognizable Neogene-Pleistocene deinotherian species. Relatively small total length of teeth from P (sub 3) to M (sub 3) of the described jaw that amounts to 330 mm is not a sufficient reason for its attribution to some smaller and older deinotherian species, what is evident with some authors. Varying lengths of teeth-rows of lower jaws can be attributed to various ages of individuals of the same species, and most probably also to sexual dimorphism, since males were much larger than females. This is confirmed also by Fejfar (1989, 197) who writes that male deinotherium tusks were much larger than those of females, consequently also other dentition. Lower wear of dental pattern of edges and cusps on the second molar (M (sub 2) ) and partly on the first molar (M (sub 1) ) as well as their sizes allow the conclusion that the jaw belongs to a younger and smaller individual. Its locality could not be determined, but the bone was most probably found in north-eastern Slovenia where most deionotherian finds were registered. On the lingual side of the first molar (M (sub 1) ) several pebbles up to 8 mm across in coarse sandy cement are fixed, which permits to conclude that the jaw is derived from sandy gravel, gravel or conglomerate of Pannonian or Pontian age? The clasts belong to various rocks and are very variable sizes. The mutilated state of the jaw can be the consequence of primary natural damage in the sediment, but most of the damages were probably inflicted later, owing to irresponsible handling in the school which certainly is not the place for such a rare and important find.

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