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Rowboater

Rapp beach

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Rowboater

One of the problems with beach hunting in Virginia is that the colonial period in the 1600s and 1700s had more people and more traffic than today, and there are lots of "modern" bones and teeth mixed in with the other stuff.  I found something which I originally thought was a tooth (there was light black enamel stippled all over it).  It is not heavy or thick like most fossil bones I find.  It has a very distinctive face/head (about an inch across) with shallow "crosses" on each side and a deeper cleft in the middle.  One part of the cleft is a circular hole that leads into a channel that may have supported blood vessel/ nerve bundles?  So many people here deal with bone I am hoping someone will recognize it.  Thanks.

 

IMG-20190127-WA0004.thumb.jpg.3c53c102a23f02cb741d1f21216afd01.jpgIMG-20190127-WA0002.jpg.6306bec76aa7d3e5c56f7f5b4a7cd465.jpgIMG-20190127-WA0005.jpg.582bba9e1918f45ee4cbebc9c84eeeb0.jpgIMG-20190127-WA0001.jpg.553d8cb13a63966ab50bf8ae73f32257.jpgIMG-20190127-WA0003.thumb.jpg.c3d7b258258fcea907c8f707b377d97d.jpg

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Carl

Someone will no doubt jump in with a tighter ID but I can offer that this is one end of a mammal long bone, maybe a fawn or a lamb. You can tell that it isn't mature because the epiphysis never fused to the main body of the bone. The epiphysis is what forms the articular surface.

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Rowboater

Thanks Carl!  So the cartilage at the end of this bone had never ossified?  So that's why it doesn't look like a typical joint?  Hopefully @Boesse  or  @Rockwood or @FossilsAnonymous recognize the shape and the channel up the side, and can give an idea as to the bone, although maybe not enough to identify.

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Rockwood

Carl has already got me beat.

Edit: Maybe I could guess metacarpal of an artiodactyl. It almost looks like two bones naturally fused into one. It's not much more than a guess though.

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Rowboater
On 1/29/2019 at 7:59 PM, Rockwood said:

Carl has already got me beat.

Edit: Maybe I could guess metacarpal of an artiodactyl. It almost looks like two bones naturally fused into one. It's not much more than a guess though.

Thanks Rockwood! I was thinking the huge channel (blood supply and nerve bundle) might be diagnostic, but I guess in most fast-growing artiodactyls that is the norm.  But I know next to nothing about bone, so it's good to learn!

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Carl
On 1/29/2019 at 6:03 AM, Rowboater said:

Thanks Carl!  So the cartilage at the end of this bone had never ossified?  So that's why it doesn't look like a typical joint?  Hopefully @Boesse  or  @Rockwood or @FossilsAnonymous recognize the shape and the channel up the side, and can give an idea as to the bone, although maybe not enough to identify.

If I have my head screwed on right it's a bit different. During development. each long bone forms from 3 bony elements separated by 2 plates of cartilage: the shaft (diaphysis) and the two articular caps (epiphyses). After each epiphysis fuses to the shaft, the cartilage separating it from the diaphysis disappears and the long bone is complete. This cartilage is different from the cushioning cartilage in the joint articulation. Your specimen is part of an unfused diaphysis.

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Rowboater

@Carl  Thanks Carl!  Much clearer.  So most unfused diaphysis have this distinctive rounded "soft" shape?  Or does it very from bone to bone?

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Carl
14 hours ago, Rowboater said:

@Carl  Thanks Carl!  Much clearer.  So most unfused diaphysis have this distinctive rounded "soft" shape?  Or does it very from bone to bone?

The roundness is one detail and the actual shape is different, too.

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