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Fossil Walrus Ivory #2

Part Number 285
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This divot tool is made from a piece of Fossil Walrus Ivory. Fossil Walrus Ivory comes from walrus tusks that are hundreds or thousands of years old. It is found only in a few isolated places around the arctic circle and is indeed a rare material. The native peoples along the Canadian and Alaskan coasts collect these tusks along the shoreline, washed up like driftwood, or exposed in the tundra as it thaws out from global warming. Many make a living doing this.

Walrus tusk is composed of three distinct and different layers of material. The thin outer layer is cementum followed by built-up layers of primary dentine. This is the same as most tusked animals. Where Walrus Ivory differs is in having a center composed of secondary dentine, also called osteo dentine. This ivory is very unusual in having a mottled texture, often described as looking like oatmeal or tapioca. It reminds me of cream colored marble with slightly darker, translucent swirls. This particular piece has the osteo dentine sandwiched between two strips of primary dentine, giving it a very sculptural look. It's 3" long, 1" wide and 3/8" thick.

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