Toxodon platensis - left upper molar tooth

Specimen number: NHMUK PV M 100016

Specimen Link:

Taxon: Toxodon platensis

Description: Mostly complete left upper molar tooth (M3) in two fragments

Site: Cliff section, Arroyo Tapas, near Bajada Grande, Paraná city, Entre Ríos Province, Argentina

Age: Between 29,000 and 11,700 years old

Collection: Found on 10th October 1833 by Charles Darwin

Comments: This broken tooth was fragile at the time it was recovered by Charles Darwin, now it is even more so. The specimen is in two parts and cannot be handled without great risk of further damage. By scanning the fragments we are able to digitally reconstruct the tooth without risk to the specimen. Toxodon is an extinct herbivorous (plant eating) mammal from South America. It is often reconstructed to look like a cross between a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros, although it is not closely related to either. It was first described by Richard Owen based on specimens collected by Charles Darwin on the Voyage of the Beagle.

At the A. Tapas, which enters the Conchitas, 2 miles from the town, I visited some broken cliffs, where a few years previously bones & part of the (Megatherium) case had been found…In every part however of the cliffs, on the borders of the streamlets, there are very numerous fragments of bones…They were however so very soft & decomposed I could scarcely extract even so small a fragment.

-- Darwin, Charles, R. 1832-1836. Geological Diary. Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

Cite this as

Pip Brewer, Kate Burton, Adrian Lister (2018). Dataset: Darwin's Fossil Mammals. Resource: Toxodon platensis - left upper molar tooth. Natural History Museum Data Portal (

Retrieved: 16:28 17 Jun 2019 (GMT)

Additional Information

Last updated April 2, 2018
Created April 2, 2018
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