Mastodon tooth fossil
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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Fossilized bone or ivory; H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm), W. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Like many scholars of his era, Franklin was fascinated by the fossilized bones and teeth of extinct animals. He owned examples and discussed them with his peers. In the mid-20th century, this fossilized tooth of a mastodon was found buried in the grounds where Franklin's mansion had stood.
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