Yesssss!!! Would you please turn the jaws over so that you are looking at them from the side, and shoot a side view of the mandible that is wide enough to take in both the front teeth and the cheek teeth. Need to see whether the 'table' of the cheek teeth waves up and down, is flat, has ramps, etc.
The irregularity in the incisor table is quite interesting! Most mustangs have excellent teeth, and this stout old stud horse would have got along for another number of years just OK on what he shows in the incisors. But eventually he would have benefitted from some help -- dental problems never get better on their own; you're lucky if they stay the same over time; generally they magnify and get worse over time, due to the fact that once a wear pattern is established, the horse cannot get out of it by any efforts of his own. -- Cheers -- Dr. Deb
These remains are part of a monument to Plenty Coupes on the mountian so I don't have the bones in my possession. For some reason no one seems to disturb these remains so I can try to shoot more next time I go. I bet if a guy hunted in the woods he could find some jaws.
Oh, OK, thanks Dave. What you have shown us is interesting by itself.
As to finding bones: the woods are OK mainly for deer antlers, but the best place to find bones of domestic animals is out in the middle of an open field on a farm, or out on the prairie top if you're out West. Used to be, a lot of farmers would haul dead cows or horses 'way out to the middle somewhere nobody was likely to mess with them, and then let the bacteria and scavengers have their way, out of sight and (particularly) out of smell.
The second-best place is a shallow draw. Many farmers or ranchers would also dump refuse at the head of a draw, especially if it headed up near a road. What happens then is the carcass rots and the bones dribble downhill or are washed downhill, so you find them down by the bed of the intermittent creek.
In some states nowadays it's illegal to bury dead animals. They say it's a hazard to the water table. So then what happens is they get buried anyway -- discreetly. This has put some inhibition on finding stuff out on top; some of them are afraid they'll be seen on Google Earth, so that's another incentive to bury them. But if you're on a ranch that's been there a long time, if you hike enough you'll probably find their carcass disposal area from the 1940's or 1960's.
Thanks again for the photos, Dave, most enlightening. -- Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb: The textbook written by Kay Behrensmeyer you mentioned in a prior post piqued my interest. Is this the right one, cowritten with Andrew Hill in 1980: Fossils in the Making: Vertebrate Taphonomy and Paleoecology (University of Chicago Press)? Or is there another? Thanks. Mark