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#1 Rob Russell

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 04:17 PM

I found this large bone this afternoon on the bank of a river in NE Illinois. I live along the Sugar Run formation which is Silurian in age, and full of a variey of invet fossils. Their have been a few pleistocene aged fossils found (mammoth, mastodon, saber tooth tiger) in the area, but they're quite rare. I'd love to think I may have found something that once belonged to one of these critter's! :D If so...it'll be my first vert fossil!

Thank you in advance for your opinion's!

Rob

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#2 tracer

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:09 PM

bisonfemur.JPG

distalfemur.JPG

it's a femur
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#3 Xiphactinus

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:25 PM

Looks bison to me...

#4 tracer

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:32 PM

hey rob, um, humor me a sec.

find a flat surface. take the bone and try to stand it up on the "good" end, and see if it will balance and stand by itself, and report back here.

:)
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#5 Rob Russell

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:44 PM

After reading houndreds of your post's Tracer, if feel as though I'm being set up! :lol: Yes, it stood up after several seconds looking for the sweet spot.... so to speak.. and to be honest, it doesnt seem to be "solid stone" either.

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#6 tracer

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:55 PM

it isn't "solid stone" by any stretch, but that doesn't mean it isn't fossil. a number of the "data points" to decide that it's bison are missing, but i would bet that it is. bison never "died out" completely, like other ice-age mammals, so it could be from a considerably more recent time that the end of the pleistocene.

the test i asked you to do was because the lateral patellar ridge in bison usually extends down more (distally) and forms enough of a "tripod" with the condyles that it will stand, and a cow femur usually won't. we play the "odds" a lot in differentiating between bones of the two species.
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#7 Rob Russell

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:30 PM

Fantastic!! I'll roll with it then! I'm all good with a bison femur from the distant past. :D It beat's the leg off of finding gastropod's! :lol:

Thank you guy's for the bison id, and thank you tracer for playing the differentiate game with me! I'll forever know how to tell the two appart! Not that I'll ever find another...


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#8 tracer

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:56 PM

should you start finding potential bison parts in quantity, you might wish to acquire a book called A Guide to the Identification of Postcranial Bones of Bos taurus and Bison bison, by Darlene McCuaig Balkwill and Stephen L. Cumbaa.

last i knew it was available from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

you should keep an eye on that bone to decide whether to put something on it to stabilize it. bones that aren't mineralized and that show some degree of iron presence can tend to dry out once they come indoors and they can sometimes get flaky.

the proximal end of the bone was unburied first and the mineral content was reduced from leaching, so that end's definitely not very stable.
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#9 Rob Russell

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:44 PM

I would love to think that I may find more, and believe me you I will try! Thank's for the info on the book. Indeed I will inquire about it, and will enjoy having in my collection of references. Their's no doubt about their being some instability going on with the proximal end of this thing. What's recommended for application?

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#10 tracer

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

depends on if you want to do it right or do it easy/cheap. i usually use PVA beads or PVB powder dissolved in acetone. there are a number of discussions on the forum regarding consolidating fossils.

if you wanted to do something easier/cheaper, if you find fossils that are already wet, you can use a diluted white glue emulsion in water and soak the still-wet fossil in it for awhile. i never recommend using water-based consolidant on anything that isn't already wet because wetting and drying fragile stuff is bad karma.

do some reading up on the subject. lots of info online about it.
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#11 JohnJ

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:33 PM

I found this large bone this afternoon on the bank of a river in NE Illinois. I live along the Sugar Run formation which is Silurian in age, and full of a variey of invet fossils. Their have been a few pleistocene aged fossils found (mammoth, mastodon, saber tooth tiger) in the area, but they're quite rare. I'd love to think I may have found something that once belonged to one of these critter's! :D If so...it'll be my first vert fossil!

Thank you in advance for your opinion's!

Rob



With all due respect to X-man and tracer, I'll throw a sinker on this bone and say it's some type of horse femur. The size and shape of the minor trochanter (little flaring protrusion on the side) is larger and different for horses than bison. And with a little finesse, they will also stand on their own. :D

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#12 tracer

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

i'll go with that. who can i blame? hmmm, tj's out of town...

but forget all that - how are you with whale mammoths?

we need a cleanup on aisle seven...
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