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Niobrara Fish Skull Part or Strange Vertebra in Coprolite?


GeschWhat

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I prepped another Niobrara coprolite and found an interesting inclusion. With my limited knowledge of fish anatomy, My best guess is some kind of connecting bone where the vertebrae meet the skull? The coprolite contains both large and small fish vertebrae in addition to this bone. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-1.jpg

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-20X-1a.jpg

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Here is another image showing the same bone and two vertebrae.

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-20X-1c.jpg

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fifbrindacier

I tried to look at fish fossils of Niobrara, but i didn't find a match.

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9 minutes ago, fifbrindacier said:

I tried to look at fish fossils of Niobrara, but i didn't find a match.

I looked through the Oceans of Kansas site, but couldn't find anything either. Thanks for trying! :)

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1 hour ago, M Harvey said:

Very interesting find.  How did you remove the matrix?

I used an X-acto blade and did it under the microscope. 

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fifbrindacier

Could you take a photo of those parts ?

 

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-1.thumb.jpg.c8247d3216f001151255b2f4f1786921.png

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7 hours ago, GeschWhat said:

 My best guess is some kind of connecting bone where the vertebrae meet the skull? 

 

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-1.jpg

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-20X-1a.jpg

Sounds right. They look like little mushrooms in river otter poop.

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LordTrilobite

The big bone part looks like a cross section of a fish vertebra. I see this same shape very often in the Cretaceous fish vertebrae from Khouribga, Morocco.

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This area has the look of the remains of a rounded articulating surface.

Marine-Coprolite-Fish-Vertebra-Inclusion-Niobrara-Formation-20X-1a.thumb.jpg.e182902630efeb2938088b9ca9b0be7cD.jpg

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Yep, I see it now. I tried to take a photo of the side of the intact edge. Even though I had my microscope focused on that area, my phone refocused on edge of the coprolite. I attached it anyway, even though its blurry. I think this coprolite either contains the undigested remains of 3 different fish or there is some drastic tapering of the spinal column. I guess it could also be a result of an animal eating a fish that just ate a smaller fish...like the nesting dolls. Forgive me...I digress. :)

 

@fifbrindacier Do you still want shots of those areas? 

 

Thanks everyone...you are the best!

Vertebra Side2.jpg

Vertebra Side.jpg

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