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caldigger

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Got this on a hunt today. Mid. Miocene, Round Mountain Silt Member, Temblor Formation. California.

It is 5cm long, 3.5cm wide, 2cm thick.

I am presuming whale, but don't really know. It seems strange to me in that the channels that would carry nerves or blood vessels are going perpendicular to the way it would set in the spinal column.

One of the channel openings looks to be partially fused off which may have pinched nerves or blocked off blood supply.

Any thoughts as to where on the critter it belonged and if indeed it is whale or not?

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fossilsonwheels

Could it be something like a caudal vertebra or a disk from a small odontoceti ? I remember a biology class years ago where we looked at some different verts and there was a caudal from a Bottlenose Dolphin that looked similar.

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11 minutes ago, Natalie81 said:

I'm not sure but maybe a intervertebral disc? 

 

Natalie 

Mammals do have nerves passing through them. One of mine has been surgically altered to reestablish the condition. :) 

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The Amateur Paleontologist

From the title, I was expecting a very existential post...

-Christian

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Cool find. It looks to be small enough that I wonder if it is in the size range of pinnipeds as well as small cetaceans? Totally out of my depth here (not new for me). I'm hoping that @Boesse might have something authoritative to add.

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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I have a few like this from MD I think, I called it caudal.

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@WhodamanHD is correct - this is a caudal vertebra. This one is from a small dolphin. These rectangular vertebrae are the terminal caudals from inside the caudal fluke where the vertebrae rapidly transition from being oval, tall, and narrow to being square-shaped and eventually low and rectangular like this as the fluke flattens out.

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Thanks Bobby and to everyone else that gave their input!

 

But just to be fair, @fossilsonwheels got the label as to caudal first. :)

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Nice. I learned a little today. :) Thanks, Bobby!

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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2 hours ago, caldigger said:

Thanks Bobby and to everyone else that gave their input!

 

But just to be fair, @fossilsonwheels got the label as to caudal first. :)

In fact he did. Kudos on the ID @fossilsonwheels!

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fossilsonwheels
4 hours ago, caldigger said:

Thanks Bobby and to everyone else that gave their input!

 

But just to be fair, @fossilsonwheels got the label as to caudal first. :)

Thank you. Call it a lucky guess lol

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