Tooth-like object stumps state scientists

A Port Lincoln family discovered what they thought to be a sperm whale tooth in the backyard of their Hilltop Drive property on Saturday.

The Wicks family were removing an old clothesline when they made the discovery, before posting their find to social media to see if anyone could help identify it.

They contacted the South Australian Museum for verification, with scientists there struggling to identify the tooth-like object from photographs and measurements.

SA Museum senior mammal research scientist Dr Catherine Kemper said she needed to see it in person before making a decision, but described it as ‘highly unusual’.

The Wicks were asked to send it to the Adelaide museum to under go testing and comparison to other items in the collection.

“We’re all very intrigued,” Kiah Wicks said.

“My son noticed it first, but I thought nothing of it really until my husband picked it up.

“She (Dr Kemper) said it could possibly be a bone that is in the front part of a beaked whale skull...and that it was the size of a sperm whale tooth but that they don’t normally have ridges.”

People on social media claimed it could be anything from a cows horn to a deer antler or even a dinosaur tooth.

With the verdict still out on exactly what the object is, Mrs Wicks said her family wondered if they should keep digging to see if they could find any more.