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hvydrt

Mountain Lion Tooth??

I found what I think is a lion tooth. It looks somewhat fresh, still some tissue near the top, but the actual tooth is kinda flakey on the surface. It appears more solid near the top, and under the flakey part. Maybe its just build up over the actual tooth? Anyone know if this is a cougar tooth? I can't imagine what else it would come from. Its 2" long, 3/8" wide on the tooth and 1 3/8" wide at the root. About 15' away from where I found it was a bunch of feathers, like a bird had been killed there.


HikeUp

Dunno what it is. Bird talon perhaps? From the hawk that killed and ate the former owner of the nearby pile of feathers.
hvydrt

Hummm, maybe it is a talon. It does seem more like nail material than tooth.
cougarmagic

I've never seen anything like that, but a talon seems like a good guess.  Cougar teeth (the 'canines') have huge roots that go up into the skull.  (Almost twice the length of the part of the tooth you can see).  Same with bear teeth.  So it would be weird to have one broken off like this thing is, with flesh still attached. A tooth should be wider at the base, where it meets the gum, too.



Cool find though!
hvydrt

I think it is a talon. Not sure what kinda bird...found this:



Maybe I will make a sweet necklace out of it.
]http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0216/8744/products/RedTailedHawk02.png?v=1369075894
tracker

Definitely from a chupacabra Very Happy
Mike P

cougarmagic wrote:
I've never seen anything like that, but a talon seems like a good guess.  Cougar teeth (the 'canines') have huge roots that go up into the skull.  (Almost twice the length of the part of the tooth you can see).  Same with bear teeth.  So it would be weird to have one broken off like this thing is, with flesh still attached. A tooth should be wider at the base, where it meets the gum, too.

Cool find though!

+1 or "What she said!"
atomicoyote

I'd say its a claw from a bear.  Talons are more curved than what you have in the picture, and it would have to be a really big bird to have a talon that size (and loose it in some violent encounter).  A bear loosing one would be pretty odd, too, but it does happen; maybe a bear encountering another predator and having a scuffle over a carcass.  

With the lack of rain this year I'd expect the predatory animals to be getting more and more aggressive in seeking out food and water, and they'll be fighting over any prey (dead, dying, or alive) they encounter, so keep your guard up when hiking out there.
hvydrt

Unlikely a bear as this was near Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet. I guess a bear could get there, but very unlikely. Could be from a bald eagle, they do frequent the lakes in So Cal during the winter. The feathers i saw looked like a red tail hawk or similar.
arocknoid

Mark, that is an interesting find and field observation.

Most likely you have an owl talon lacking the keratin sheath.

Strigiformes generally have large talons which are of lesser curvature than their accipiter and falcon cousins.

SoCal birds which prey on other birds (Sharp-shinned, cooper's hawks, kestrels, merlins etc) are much smaller than would be expected with a (de-keratinized) talon of nearly two inches in length. The nearby pile of feathers was most likely from the same bird as the talon you recovered, after it fell prey to another skilled carnivore.

(Owls are particularly sensitive to West Nile virus, so it is possible the carcass of an afflicted bird was discovered by scavengers not predators, of course.)

It would always be helpful to include photos of any other "parts on scene" to help decipher and reconstruct events. Feathers would be a *cough* dead giveaway.

BTW, be careful about collecting and especially displaying ("...a sweet necklace"...) any found raptor/migratory bird parts such as feathers or talons. One would hate to become an example for a zealous enforcement official--and yes, it *has* happened....

See article by John Brooks, US Fish and Wildlife Service:
http://www.gpnc.org/raptors1.htm


From Hawk Watch.org:

"According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Title 50, Parts 10, 13, 14, 17, 21 and 22) it is unlawful to kill, capture, collect, possess, buy, sell, trade, ship, import or export any migratory birds, including their feathers, eggs, and all other parts. Permits are granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the state in which the permitee resides. Permits are granted for research, rehabilitation, education, religious purposes, and falconry. Other laws that protect raptors are the Eagle Protection Act, the Endangered Species Acts, and other state laws. Violations of these laws are punishable by fines and imprisonment. While it may seem extreme to punish someone who has found a raptor feather and kept it, it is necessary. Without this extension of the law it would be easier for a poacher to lie and claim that he or she had found the feather on the ground, while in reality they had shot a raptor to obtain the feather.

good luck,
arocknoid
hvydrt

arocknoid wrote:
(Owls are particularly sensitive to West Nile virus...................
BTW, be careful about collecting and especially displaying ("...a sweet necklace"...)


Dang! now I am going to get the bird flu. I was just kidding about making a necklace. When I looking at google images for "hawk talon" lots of pictures of talon necklaces came up. I didn't realize they were so popular!

I didn't take any pictures of the area or feathers. Thanks for the info!

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