This fossil is a lower postcanine tooth of a seal. Although worn down by use in feeding, the presence of two roots and a large border of enamel around its base indicates that this tooth belonged to a true seal, or phocid. Specifically, it belongs to the southern group of true seals, known as the Monachinae. We can tell this by how wide the crown is, the thickness of the enamel border on the base, and the texture of the enamel. This tooth is between 4.31 and 2.67 million years old, which makes it the youngest fossil of an extinct true seal yet found in Australia. The seal to which it belonged was more closely related to living species in Antarctica and the Northern Hemisphere than the fur seals and sea lions on the coast of Australia today. This fossil was donated to Museums Victoria in 2018 by M. Biasol, who found it in 1998 near Portland, Victoria.

Specimen Details


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