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John Papastathis

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John Papastathis

Hey guys,

Here are two dino bones I purchased recently at the rock shop of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Sussex Co NJ. The owner of the museum didn't know anythihg about them except that he bought a couple 50 gallon drums of bone from a guy from Wyoming. The 1st chunk (vertebrae?) is 3 1/2" x 2 1/2". The second (extremely heavy) piece is 12 1/4" x 7 1/2". I know identification is very difficult but if anyone has any ideas as to what the heck they are I would love to hear.

Thanks very much,








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No can do.

We call it 'Hunk-a-junk'.

Some of the Wyoming material is nice if you cut it with a rock saw (tile saw will do fine on non-silicified mterial) and polish the end. This brings out some of the details of the internal bone structure. That can help with identification.

One issue with 'Wyoming' material is it can be Jurassic or Cretaceous. Different critters, preservation, etc.

Here in Alberta, dino 'hunk-a-junk' is so common in some aeas that you can't take a step without walking on it. the difference is that it's not all that mineralized and still has good structure and exterior integrity. The Wyoming 'stuff' in your photos is just 'stuff'.

'If' you can go through the barrels of material, concentrate on the smallest pieces....not the big material. It's the small specimens that if looked at from the right perspective might reveal themselves being a phalange, claw, caudal vertebra, etc. Small pieces with external bone on opposite sides should be looked at from different angles. Try and dispel from your mind what 'bones' normally look like...our concept of bone shape is usually that of mammals, etc. Forget the big material unless it's complete. The big chunks are usually amorphous bits of long bones, the 3 pelvic bones, scapula, etc.

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