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Fossilized Atlas Vertebra - Sloth? Marine Mammal?


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Hi Guys-

I posted about this find I discovered on a NJ beach last week. Thanks to those who replied with helpful feedback.

I took a few more photos with better quality to share here again. I'm really curious to find out more about the origin of this atlas vertebra bone. I have contacted the NJ State museum and I am doing more research. This site seems to be a great source for trying to figure it out, so that's why I'm posting about it again.

Some lateral aspects of this atlas vertebra have been broken off. I thought it was from a marine mammal at first. Someone here mentioned it may be from a sloth, and I do see some morphological similarities. Again, I appreciate any more feedback folks are willing to offer. Thanks.







Edited by MarkTemme
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Yeah, my first thought upon finding it was cetacean. Someone here then mentioned sloth and after some research, I did note some morphological similarities with atlas vertebrae from ground sloths. Also, a ground sloth vertebra was found on the beach of this island back in 2009.

It seems thicker from anterior to posterior than most cetacean atlas vertebra. It actually looks quite similar to the atlas vertebra from a european cave bear, although I don't think it is from one, just noting it appears consistent with a terrestrial

/land mammal.

Edited by MarkTemme
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