Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tibetan Dragon Tooth

This tooth from a Tibetan Mountain Drake comes to us from artist Dayne Hodson.  The presentation is very well done.

Update:  Read the comment from Markus for some interesting information about actual reptile teeth.


Markus said...

Looks really nicely done. I like especialy the wooden box with the label.
And I really hate to be once again a smartass, but the anatomy of the tooth is just all wrong, because teeth just don´t look like this. Of course there are a whole lot of different teeth in the animal world, but this one wouldn´t fit anywhere. If you look at modern reptiles (except for crocodylians) you will find either acrodont teeth (all lizards and snakes) or pleurodont (only tuataras). Those teeth have no roots and have basically fused their base with the bone. (here´s a nice example of komodo dragon teeth as an example: There are no roots or whatever. Crocodylians (as well as dinosaurs and various other prehistoric reptiles) and mammals have thecodont teeth, that means their teeth have roots which are situated within the alveoles of the jawbone. Those roots have to be comparably big to work, in general around as long as the crown of the tooth (sometimes even considerably longer). Those roots can be funnel shaped as in modern alligators (see teeth here: or more or less like a long cone, but in any case it´s comparably long. I really don´t say this to critize the artist, but I think it´s always good to do some extra research to make such props as realistical as possible.

Propnomicon said...

@ Markus

Don't apologize, this is fascinating information. I was really surprised by how fibrous the base of the komodo dragon teeth appear.

Anonymous said...

I'll point out that Phillips-head screws were apparently commercialized in 1934-36, so any appearance of them in objects from before that time is an anachronism.

That being said, I've used similar, unfinished wood boxes from the craft store, and replaced the screws on the external hardware with small brass nails / tacks, cut shorter with a pair of wire cutters.

Markus said...

I think there is still some bone attached to the base of some of those komodo dragon teeth, but those grooves are really part of the teeth.
Finding good photos and anatomical drawings for reptilian teeth is not even that easy, especially for squamates like lizards. Several years ago I made a thumb-sized version of a tooth based on a gila monster tooth as a prop and also another really big "dragon tooth" based on the thecodont teeth of crocodylians, but about as big as a sperm whale tooth. I gave it a good-sized root, but today I´d say it´s still too short.
It´s also good to have some real teeth as comparison to get a better understanding for the structure, surface and shapes.