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Tusk splinter

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Ivory is harder than the average bone. I am not sure you could tell elephant tusk from walrus tusk from whale bone though. The base of a whitetail antler could pass for ivory in certain circumstances. I wouldn't know how to tell fake ivory from buffalo bone or antler from looking at a photo though. It sure could be elephant tusk but you could write those words on any old bone and no one could say it wasn't from a photo.

What I do see is weathering on one side. Which indicates to me that the specimen was sitting in the sun rather than taken from a live animal. It looks like the texture of a winterkill antler on one side. I also know that tusks often splinter back from the end in squared off chunks like that. The size and shape is about right to be something an elephant would loose naturally from time to time. So if it is not elephant tusk then it is a reasonable facsimile thereof... At least as far as appearance in a photograph.

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It doesn't look like Elephant ivory. Elephant ivory isn't related to bone or antler. Elephant tusks are actually very large incisor teeth.

Elephant ivory "checks" when it's dried out. You wouldn't be seeing just straight lines like that. Here's a good beginner piece on determining whether something is ivory.

Here's the pattern seen on the flat raw surface of real ivory:


Those little "Y" shapes are definitive and are found even on old ivory. Even Mastodon ivory shows this same growth pattern.

The back surface doesn't look right for ivory either. Ivory is consistent throughout. You won't see different material on the inside of a tusk from the outside of the tusk. The growth patterns would be seen on both sides if it were ivory.

Edited by clay
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Mighty similar looking pattern to the specimen posted. The exterior of that tusk will be weathered and the interior will be much different.  You can see that from the spot on his tusk where he has polished through the checks.

You decide....



Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Need a good picture of the ends. Judging from the bottom picture, left side, appears to have grooves for blood arteries which bone not ivory, has.

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