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bthemoose

What types of vertebrae are these?

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bthemoose

Here are two vertebrae that I've found at Calvert Cliffs sites (Miocene exposures) in Maryland in recent weeks. The first I also included in a recent trip report, but am posting it separately here along with some better pictures. Any idea what kind of animal this came from? My first thought was a cetacean/dolphin based on the oval part of the photo in the upper right (which looks sort of like the epiphysis attachment point--though that's probably not the correct term--on another but otherwise different looking cetacean/dolphin vert I found). However, I haven't yet found pictures of any similar verts to this one online.

 

5f1857c66e32b_MatoakaVert.jpg.52e4265d47ea03f6c7008f488a0b1774.jpg

 

The second vert below I found a few weeks back. I think it may be from a fish but would appreciate confirmation or correction of that. I had trouble getting clear photos of the top (looking down at the "ears") and bottom, but can try again if needed/helpful. It doesn't look to me like there are broken processes on the bottom side but I could be wrong.

 

5f1859de30c5e_CalvertVert.jpg.ab18447ce0bdf70141305e5a858fb69c.jpg

 

Thanks for any help with these!

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cck

I’d go with cetacean thoracic on top, and bony fish on bottom. Maybe others can be more specific? 

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bthemoose
1 hour ago, cck said:

I’d go with cetacean thoracic on top, and bony fish on bottom. Maybe others can be more specific? 

Thanks! Glad to hear I was in the right ballpark on these.

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ShoreThing
11 hours ago, cck said:

I’d go with cetacean thoracic on top, and bony fish on bottom. Maybe others can be more specific? 

I agree with @cck, but I am not 100% sure. Regardless, they are fantastic. As a side note, you are doing a great job with the pictures and sizing. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your finds @bthemoose. I'm currently living vicariously through your posts since I have only been down twice since March (I usually try to go twice a month). 

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bthemoose

Thanks, @ShoreThing! It’s a new hobby for me, but one I’m enjoying immensely. Hope you’re able to get out there again soon.

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Petalodus12

Is it possible that the 1st vertebra is a sacral vert? It’s missing the foramina but it does seem oddly similar to a sacral vertebra. Just a slightly educated guess though 

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bthemoose

Thanks for taking a look, @Petalodus12! I had to look up sacral vertebrae and am quickly discovering I have a lot to learn about vertebral regions!

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Petalodus12
14 minutes ago, bthemoose said:

Thanks for taking a look, @Petalodus12! I had to look up sacral vertebrae and am quickly discovering I have a lot to learn about vertebral regions!

Happy to help. This one has really been confusing me though. If it is a sacral vertebra then it would have to be from a quite young animal, as sacral vertebrae fuse before adulthood. This animal  would have been young, as the epiphysis shows (it would be smooth in an adult animal). It could be a caudal vertebra too but I’m honestly not sure. And I’m also not sure what animal its from. Hopefully someone else chimes in with more experience on Calvert stuff.

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ShoreThing
15 hours ago, bthemoose said:

Thanks, @ShoreThing! It’s a new hobby for me, but one I’m enjoying immensely. Hope you’re able to get out there again soon.

Well it looks like you are off to a great start! I have only been enjoying the hobby for about 2 years. I live 2.5 - 3 hours from the cliffs, so when I go I try to make an entire day of it. The heat and tides have kept me away lately. I have a flexible summer schedule and finally put a 2 week hold on my calendar for all but the most critical meetings...so if the heat breaks a bit and the tides cooperate I'll make a trip or two down.

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