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TXV24

Bouldnor Cliff Metatarsal

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TXV24

Hi, 

 

I headed out yesterday morning to Bouldnor Cliff on the early morning low tide for what would be a rather "interesting" collecting trip (finger numbingly cold weather followed by getting badly bitten by a loose dog). I picked up some nice pieces including a Bothriodon jaw, and this very nice metatarsal bone. My initial ideas were that it was crocodilian however after doing research online I've seen quite a few similar looking metatarsals in variety of other animals, so I was wondering if anyone would be able to lend a hand in IDing it. It seems to be fairly intact apart from slight damage to the proximal and distal ends. It's 7.5cm long and 0.7cm wide, with a very flat and thin profile. Unfortunately when the dog bit me I dropped my collecting bag smashing the bone in half, so I've had to glue it back together as best I can. 

 

Thank you, 

 

Theo

 

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Tidgy's Dad

Can't help you with the ID, but mice find, shame it got broken and sorry you got bitten. 

Luckily, they don't have rabies on the Isle of Wight! 

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JohnBrewer

No idea but another of your cool finds. 

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ynot

My first impression is a pinniped, but that is a guess.

Let's see if @Boesse, .@Harry Pristis can shed some lior ght on this one.

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Boesse

Nope! Not a marine mammal. No idea on this one, other than it is a critter that can run.

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TXV24

@Boesse Out of curiosity what features indicate that the animal could run? 

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WhodamanHD
15 minutes ago, TXV24 said:

@Boesse Out of curiosity what features indicate that the animal could run? 

Before here answers this correctly with his expertise, I’ll say I remember from a course a while back that long, thin metatarsal bones are indicative of a cursorial lifestyle.

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Boesse

Essentially what @WhodamanHD said - long, narrow tube-like leg and foot bones are adaptations for running. In marine mammals limb bones are shortened with greatly enlarged muscle attachments.

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siteseer

The metacarpal of the smallest toe of Bothriodon looks similar to that bone (see Rose, 2006: p. 294, fig. 14.20).  Is Bothriodon the most common mammal found there?  A friend in the UK once sent me a couple of crocodile teeth from Bouldnor Cliff - Late Eocene stuff in case anyone is wondering.

 

Jess

 

Rose, K.D.  2006.

The Beginning of the Age of Mammals.  Johns Hopkins University Press.  428 pages.

 

P.S.  I think Rose's is a must-have book for not just those that collect Paleogene mammal fossils.  Anyone interested in mammals should have it too.  I wrote a book review of it for the forum in the "Fossil Literature" section if anyone is curious.

 

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TXV24

@Boesse @WhodamanHD Thanks for explaining that, there's lot's of metapodial pieces out on the coast so it'll help with discerning what they came from. 

 

@siteseer Thank you for your help. Bothriodon is the most common mammal there by leaps and bounds, I'd say 80% of my mammal material is either from Bothriodon or Bothriodont anthracotheres (Elomeryx occurs here too) so it would make a lot of sense. I've actually got a copy of that book but didn't think to check it because I was convinced it was crocodilian at first, looking at the monograph there's a definite resemblance so I think that could be it. 

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