Toxodon - Left upper incisor or front tooth (I2)

Specimen number: NHMUK PV M 16567

Specimen Link:

Taxon: Toxodon

Description: Left upper incisor or front tooth (I2). Owen originally identified this a lower incisor.

Site: Punta Alta, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Age: Late Pleistocene i.e., between 126,000 and 11,700 years old

Collection: Found in either September to October 1832 or August to September 1833 by Charles Darwin (specific date was not recorded)

Comments: When describing this tooth in 1838-1840, Richard Owen was unsure whether to allocate this to the same species as the Toxodon platensis cranium found in Uruguay (specimen number NHMUK PV M 16560), although he did think it belonged to the same species as the lower jaw (NHMUK PV M 16566). The latter specimen was named Toxodon darwinii (in honour of Charles Darwin) in 1866 by Herman Burmeister. Toxodon darwinii probably represents the same species as Toxodon platensis.

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.

…a tusk which in its prismatic form, and in the disposition of the enamel, closely resembles that of the African boar; it is probable that it belonged to the same animal with the singular flat grinders.

-- Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle. [1st ed.]. Darwin, C. 1839. Volume III. Journal and remarks 1832-1836. Page 96.

Cite this as

Pip Brewer, Kate Burton, Adrian Lister (2018). Dataset: Darwin's Fossil Mammals. Resource: Toxodon - Left upper incisor or front tooth (I2). Natural History Museum Data Portal (

Retrieved: 15:39 18 Jun 2019 (GMT)

Additional Information

Last updated April 3, 2018
Created April 3, 2018
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