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Benjaminpb

Salem Ma. Beach find

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Benjaminpb

Hey all! I'm on vacation and while walking on a beach in Salem Ma. I found some bones.

Any ideas?

IMG_2710.JPG

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jpc

cow bone from the butcher shop.  Butchers are the only animals that cut big thick bones in a straight line like this.  

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Benjaminpb

I wonder why they're washing up on the beach like that....? I found four of them.

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jpc

Now, that is a good question.  

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Benjaminpb

Is it possible that they are pretty old?

They have a prettty cool patina.

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jpc

It is possible, there have been butchers in Salem since at least the late 1600's.  But geologically old... no.  

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FossilDudeCO

In Florida they use things like chunks of pork in the crab traps.

Often times they will wash up on the beach and confuse people.

 

Perhaps someone picked up scraps from the butcher to use in crab traps?

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Pagurus

I hope you're enjoying your vacation, and this unusually warm weather for February!  Blake's idea is interesting, that they might be leftovers from crab traps, but I have my doubts. Could be, though. I've done some crabbing myself in Salem and it seems most people around here use chicken or a fish head. Lots of lobster pots here too, but nearly everyone uses fish. But in a pinch, who knows. The bones do seem pretty old to me, with that patina, but as jp said, they were cut with the tools of a butcher. They don't have any fouling organisms on them, like barnacles or sponges or tunicates or bryozoans or all the fun stuff that usually attaches to the substrate around Salem, so they probably weren't sitting on the bottom for too long, I think. They could be quite recent, heaved overboard by one of the ships in the harbor, or they could have been buried under the sand, maybe for quite some time and recently uncovered. Maybe it was a cook's stew from an old shipwreck. Maybe they were cooked up in a witch's brew. Lots of maybes.

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Benjaminpb

Alright, thanks everyone :-)

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Benjaminpb

I'm in the NYC area for a few days. Any recommendations for fossil hunting here?

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jpc

Not really sure about hunting, but go to the AMNH for some world class fossil displays.

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Rockwood
3 hours ago, Benjaminpb said:

I'm in the NYC area for a few days. Any recommendations for fossil hunting here?

 

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Rockwood
6 hours ago, FossilDudeCO said:

In Florida they use things like chunks of pork in the crab traps.

Often times they will wash up on the beach and confuse people.

 

Perhaps someone picked up scraps from the butcher to use in crab traps?

I think MA would be up in lobstah country :)

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Pagurus
9 hours ago, Benjaminpb said:

I'm in the NYC area for a few days. Any recommendations for fossil hunting here?

 

Big Brook is about an hour to an hour and a half away. Or 12 hours if the traffic is tied up. Ok, I'm exaggerating. Just google big brook fossils and you'll find directions, etc.  Most people use a screen there for sifting for shark teeth and who knows what else. If you're driving South anyway, on your way home, it's pretty easy to stop there for a short time. If you're flying, that could make it more difficult.

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