Desmostylus hesperus, teeth in matrix
Desmostylus hesperus, teeth in matrix
Desmostylus hesperus, teeth in matrix
Desmostylus hesperus, teeth in matrix
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Desmostylus hesperus, teeth in matrix

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Desmostylus is an extinct genus of herbivorous mammal of the family Desmostylidae living during the Late Oligocene through the Late Miocene (28.4 mya—7.250 mya) for a s pan of approximately 21.2 million years.

Desmostylus was a large, hippopotamus-like creature of about 1.8 meters (6 feet) long which weighed about 200 kilograms (440 pounds). It had a short tail and powerful legs with four hooves. Both the creature's jaws were elongated and sported forward-facing tusks, which were elongated canines and incisors.

Most likely fully aquatic, Desmostylus is thought to have lived in shallow water in coastal regions, usually less than 30 meters deep. Recent isotope work indicates that Desmostylus more likely lived (or spent a large amount of time) in freshwater or estuary ecosystems foraging for aquatic freshwater plants.

This specimen has 3 teeth in matrix. The matrix is 8 x 6 x 4 inches. The largest tooth is 2.75 inches long with a 2.5-inch root and has 6 cusps. The second tooth is 2 inches.

The last photo on the right shows the original fossil beside the replica.
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