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PaleoNoel

Hi everyone! I wanted to post one of my new favorite finds from this past week of collecting in the Hell Creek formation of Montana. I found this little partial claw at a microsite which proved to be quite productive, making for a great day. While the articulating surface is missing, I still feel that it could be identifiable and my first guess is bird. Avisaurus in particular as I remember seeing similar claws being labeled as such on other platforms. It’s about two centimeters long and the bottom is flat, giving it a somewhat triangular cross section. 
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photos from the field. 
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Pics I just took from the motel.

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Unguals from the paper describing Mirarce, a close relative of what’s present in Hell Creek.

 

I’d love to read some opinions.

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ThePhysicist

Cool claw! I agree it looks similar to the claws in the figure you posted, but I'm not informed enough to pass any judgement. @Troodon@Auspex

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Phos_01

Wow thats awesome to find! It must feel great. Did you go hunting on a tourist Tour? or did you rent property? Im looking to visit the States also in the future. 

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It may be very difficult to firmly label it as Avian, but it does tick some of the boxes. It is a great find, no matter what, and I am envious. I have to wonder whether it is native to the deposit in which you found it, because of the coloration. Is that microsite a reworked deposit, or is it assumed to be previously undisturbed?

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Troodon

Nice find,.  There are some similarities with your claw to those in the illustration especially with its flat sides by the blood groove.  What strikes me that might be different is the ventral surface.  Yours looks very flat and those in the photo look curved but its hard to say.   I have a few in my collection from the HC that match DI and need to look at them.  Im away from home so will be a while.  I will also say that the preservation, color,  for a surface find in the HC is not uncommon.  Unfortunately without the articulation I think its going to be difficult to make a positive call.

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PaleoNoel
1 hour ago, Troodon said:

Nice find,.  There are some similarities with your claw to those in the illustration especially with its flat sides by the blood groove.  What strikes me that might be different is the ventral surface.  Yours looks very flat and those in the photo look curved but its hard to say.   I have a few in my collection from the HC that match DI and need to look at them.  Im away from home so will be a while.  I will also say that the preservation, color,  for a surface find in the HC is not uncommon.  Unfortunately without the articulation I think its going to be difficult to make a positive call.

Thanks Troodon, I was super happy to find it. Do you think it’s safe to say it’s paravian (bird, dromaeosaur & troodontid)

2 hours ago, Auspex said:

It may be very difficult to firmly label it as Avian, but it does tick some of the boxes. It is a great find, no matter what, and I am envious. I have to wonder whether it is native to the deposit in which you found it, because of the coloration. Is that microsite a reworked deposit, or is it assumed to be previously undisturbed?

Thanks for your input! The light coloration is consistent with other fossils I’ve found in the formation, usually comes as a result of sun bleaching. I found it amongst iron siderite at a microsite deposit.

14 hours ago, ThePhysicist said:

Cool claw! I agree it looks similar to the claws in the figure you posted, but I'm not informed enough to pass any judgement. @Troodon@Auspex

Thanks!

11 hours ago, Phos_01 said:

Wow thats awesome to find! It must feel great. Did you go hunting on a tourist Tour? or did you rent property? Im looking to visit the States also in the future. 

I went with PaleoProspectors, check my gallery and trip reports and you’ll see some of my other finds with them. 

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Troodon
1 hour ago, PaleoNoel said:

Thanks Troodon, I was super happy to find it. Do you think it’s safe to say it’s paravian (bird, dromaeosaur & troodontid)

Like I said would like to see my claws to compare against.   Its definitely not a troodontid and with that flat ventral side probably not Dromaeosaurid.   

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PaleoNoel

@hxmendoza I'm interested in your opinion on this.

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