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Max-fossils

Hey everyone,

I found this vertebra back in April on the Zandmotor (Netherlands, most likely late Pleistocene in age). 

I believe it's a thoracic vertebra from some pinniped, but I'm not sure. I've been comparing it to several vertebrae online, especially using the Osteology section in the Idaho Virtual Museum website (which is quite good, perhaps a useful resource for some of you!). 

Unfortunately, I am not finding any satisfying matches. The different seal thoracic vertebrae I am seeing look most similar, but they all appear to have a less wide corpus than my specimen. 

I'm really hoping to be able to put a species name on this specimen; I know it's not complete, but I feel like enough of it is there to be able to make a confident species guess. But I will settle for a less specific ID if necessary.

So, what do you guys think? I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions!

Best,

Max

 

EDIT: just realized there are no size references on my photos, sorry! 

The vertebra is 8cm wide at its widest point and 5cm long. The corpus is 5.5cm wide and 3cm high. 

 

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Fossildude19
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hemipristis

seal or sirenian?

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I think some kind of phocid is a reasonable ID - genus, and certainly species level ID, is out of the question for a partial vertebra. @hemipristis sirenian vertebrae are very dense unlike this specimen, which consists entirely of cancellous bone.

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Max-fossils
On 8/9/2021 at 2:27 PM, Boesse said:

I think some kind of phocid is a reasonable ID - genus, and certainly species level ID, is out of the question for a partial vertebra. @hemipristis sirenian vertebrae are very dense unlike this specimen, which consists entirely of cancellous bone.

Sorry for the late reply, and thanks for your insight!

One thing I noticed, which is what made me uncertain about it being seal(-related), is that the corpus of my vertebra seemed wider compared to its height than the other seal vertebrae I saw. Why do you think this may be?

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It's possibly a land mammal, but the shape of it doesn't really bother me to be honest.

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