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Paleoworld-101

This small crocodilian fossil was collected on the beach at Bouldnor on the Isle of Wight in southern England. It comes from the Bouldnor Formation and is about 33 million years old. I'm certain it is crocodilian (from the small aligatorid Diplocynodon) based on the distinctive pitted texture. Scutes and vertebrae from this small croc are fairly common finds on this coastline. However this particular piece has stumped me, it is 3D and hollow on the inside, not like any scute i've picked up. I was thinking it must be some sort of skull element but i'd appreciate any help to rectify this!

 

It measures 4 cm long. 

 

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Foozil

Can't help but nice find!

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Harry Pristis

 

How unusual . . . but, I don't think it's crocodilian.  The pits appear to be burrows by an invertebrate of some sort.  

 

 

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Cris

I can see that this is definitely bone in a few of the photos where it is broken and worn. I think you are correct about it being an part of croc skull. Unfortunately, I think it is a little too water worn for me to help pin down which part it might be.

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Paleoworld-101

@Harry Pristis That's certainly thinking outside the box! However, based on other similar crocodile bits from this coast i still think that's what this is. Out of interest have you seen bones with invertebrate damage that looks like this?

 

@Cris See the additional pictures i've added below. 

 

 

Side views. This appears to be the natural edge of the bone, especially towards the left in the first pic and the top in the second pic. 

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Here i have tried to photograph the internal texture. Many of the holes on the inner walls shown here link up directly with holes on the outer surface. 

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An internal bony strut, which separates the passageways to each of the large frontal openings in the final pictures underneath this one. 

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The two large holes shown from the outside. The strut separates them inside the bone. 

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Paleoworld-101
2 hours ago, TXV24 said:

Hi @Paleoworld-101

 

You're right with it being a cranial element, it's definitely not an osteoderm. I've had a look through my collection and I think what you're looking at is a worn piece of a malar (also known as a jugal) bone. They're hollow inside so with wear the outer bone could weather away and reveal the cavity inside. Cranial elements are quite common here, usually parietals, frontals, squamosals, and malar bones (all Diplocynodon). If it is a molar/jugal it's the biggest example I've seen off the coast so a nice find!   

 

Here's a diagram I find useful for IDing my cranial finds that might be of interest to you. You can see the malar/jugal is situated beneath the orbit in the 'cheek' area. 

 

 

Great work once again, i've got some other Bouldnor bits i've been pulling my hair out over, you seem like the guy to ask. I posted some more bits in this thread: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/81022-fossil-hunting-holiday-in-england-dec-2017/

 

How long have you been collecting this location? I've only spent a total of 10 days here across three different years, 2013, 2014 and 2017, but have amassed quite a collection i think!

 

35 minutes ago, PFOOLEY said:

Adult Alligator Skull Atlas

 

Thought this was nifty and might be of service here. 

Wow that's excellent! Thanks!

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TXV24

@Paleoworld-101 Thanks I'm glad I could help. I've been collecting there for 8 years now, and regularly (once or twice a week either at Hamstead or Bouldnor) for the last  18 months. But yeah if you've got any finds you can't ID I'd be happy to help out as I've probably got something like it in my collection. There's some nice finds on that thread! I especially like the Bothriodon phalanges, I've got a couple of intact ones (one from Elomeryx and one from Bothriodon) but finding two so close together and in such good condition is fantastic! 

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LordTrilobite

I agree with part of a croc skull.

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jpc

I do too.  TXV's reply is much more detailed than I can offer. 

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