An Intriguing Pair of Antique Lower Canine Hippopotamus Teeth


Origin: Unknown
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890
Length: 13 inches each
Width: 2 inches
Depth: 1.5 inches

Here, a pair of large, beautifully smooth, well-patinated and tactile Hippo teeth, with no apparent damage. Although un-mounted they could easily sit upon a tabletop and act as a terrific conversation starter.
Hippos have a huge mouth, measuring up to 4 ft (1.2 m) across, and a pair of huge incisors in each jaw. Only a few teeth are immediately visible, mainly these curved lower canine teeth (which are a source of ivory) on the outer part of the jaw. Like tusks, these teeth continue to grow and can reach a length of 3 ft (1 m). Hippos are herbivores, grinding up vegetation with their big, flat molars at the back and the mouth. Hippos die when their molars have worn down too much to grind food.

The semi-aquatic hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse", is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus.) The hippopotamus is the third largest land animal (after the elephant and the white rhinoceros) and the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe..

Hippos are a dangerous problem in many parts of Africa and account for more human deaths per year than crocodiles and poisonous snakes combined.

A wonderfully exotic pair of teeth.