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The Jersey Devil

New Zealand Glacier possible mammal fossil

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The Jersey Devil

Hey everyone,

I got this interesting mammal bone piece (about 3 inches across) that was found in an area with a glacier and no live animals around. Could it have originated from within the glacier or is it a modern bone? What type of bone is it and what animal did it come from?

 

Thanks everyone!

57DE8BC9-52D2-41B7-8C2B-4CDB78C4DB86.jpeg

ED813F64-0776-493F-8E07-31E955812E40.jpeg

9321BC1A-5619-4570-98B1-4FB287B1752E.jpeg

B08D5CD6-59DB-4652-A808-5688AC83CFAD.jpeg

B08275EB-3717-4034-814C-54AFFF636690.jpeg

1ADE3970-90C4-47E4-A69F-7D19FE506B13.jpeg

C395C801-DCB7-49DF-813E-26CECD77ACDE.jpeg

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Rockwood
15 minutes ago, ziggycardon said:

If it is a fossil it could be Giant Moa, but let's wait to see what the experts have to say

Not an expert, but I can see this being the right texture of bone alright.

@Auspex May have an opinion on it.

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DanKurek

New Zealand doesn't have any native terrestrial mammals but there are some native species of seal and other aquatic mammals (Dolphins, Whales, etc). Do not know much about bones but could be a possibility it is from one of these animals?

 

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Auspex

May I please see pictures taken from straight-on of the unbroken 'ends'?

~.jpg

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The Jersey Devil

Hi @Auspex

here are a couple more views of the ends.

 

 

1765D847-F259-495B-9DD4-2E35AE597124.jpeg

F2727C5F-D51E-47CF-81D5-E153CDDF64EA.jpeg

CD9227C2-D040-421A-A5E3-C59EABF37788.jpeg

8FE9F519-F0B2-477A-A4E3-A1FF361C02B5.jpeg

Edited by The Jersey Devil
More pictures

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SteveE

Google for interactive horse skeleton...  with it in your hand, maybe you can match it to one of the leg bones

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Harry Pristis

 

I am beyond my expertise here, but this bone strikes me as a proximal epiphysis from the humerus of a marine mammal.  I don't have anything in my collection close, but I do get a mild vibe of dugongid.  Check with @Boesse to see if he recognizes the bone.

 

dugongid_humerus_proximal.thumb.JPG.ec42f9554b6ab250821e9ac7d1a3662a.JPG

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Rockwood

@The Jersey Devil How heavy/dense dose it feel ?

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Auspex

Compare your bone in the hand with this:

Moa Femur c.png

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The Jersey Devil
16 hours ago, Harry Pristis said:

 

I am beyond my expertise here, but this bone strikes me as a proximal epiphysis from the humerus of a marine mammal.  I don't have anything in my collection close, but I do get a mild vibe of dugongid.  Check with @Boesse to see if he recognizes the bone.

 

dugongid_humerus_proximal.thumb.JPG.ec42f9554b6ab250821e9ac7d1a3662a.JPG

 

Hmm looks very similar. Mine would be a mirror image of yours if it is from the same animal category.

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The Jersey Devil
15 hours ago, Rockwood said:

@The Jersey Devil How heavy/dense dose it feel ?

 

It is pretty dense, but the striking part is that it isn’t brittle, like I would expect a modern one to be.

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The Jersey Devil
11 hours ago, Auspex said:

Compare your bone in the hand with this:

Moa Femur c.png

 

Unfortunately my bone doesn’t really look like any of the ends of these Moa bones, at least from these angles.

 

I’ve recently found out that there used to be the now extinct Haast eagle in New Zealand as well. Do you know of any remains or pictures of any of the bones of this giant beast?

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The Jersey Devil

Hi @Boesse,

would you say that the bone in question matches that of any marine mammals?

 

Thanks a lot!

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Rockwood
11 minutes ago, The Jersey Devil said:

 

It is pretty dense, but the striking part is that it isn’t brittle, like I would expect a modern one to be.

I thought it would be lighter.

I just did a quick test on a modern gull radius. That bone at least is fairly flexible. 

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Auspex
6 hours ago, The Jersey Devil said:

Unfortunately my bone doesn’t really look like any of the ends of these Moa bones, at least from these angles.

I did not think so, either, but with the complex 3-D geometry, in-hand is the best test.

6 hours ago, The Jersey Devil said:

I’ve recently found out that there used to be the now extinct Haast eagle in New Zealand as well. Do you know of any remains or pictures of any of the bones of this giant beast?

I'll look for images, but I don't think your mystery bones are from a flying creature; too dense.

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SteveE

Caution, I'm just making this up, I don't really know anything.... going on the supposition that it is of relatively recent origin and might have been transported to the site by early Maori..... and and if you're still brainstorming a list of maybes.....  are there any sea turtle bones that size?    I've googled lots of "maybe" pics but haven't found anything with a scale or dimensions.   Also, if it was a marine creature moved by Maori, why would they have lugged such a bone from the sea to the glacier (assuming its an alpine setting)?  Food?  Cold storage?  Religious talisman? 

Edited by SteveE

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The Jersey Devil
17 hours ago, Auspex said:

I'll look for images, but I don't think your mystery bones are from a flying creature; too dense.

 

I didn’t think it would be from an eagle, just wondering if there are any existing Haast eagle remain pictures.

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The Jersey Devil
14 hours ago, Boesse said:

Hey all, this bone is modern. The single most common mammal in NZ, beating out humans 6 to 1 or so, are domestic sheep. 90% of mammal bones you find in NZ are sheep bones. Which is precisely what this is: a proximal humeral epiphysis of a sheep.

image.thumb.png.42c1bc7ba8f5a67388ad72fe08ed5b29.png

 

Thanks! Definitely looks like a match and it explains the white coloration of the bone. I really think I may have seen more cattle than people in New Zealand at this point!

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digit

When I was in NZ eons ago I remember hearing the statistic that there were 2 head of cattle and 6 of sheep per capita.  Don't know of the veracity of that stat but I could easily believe it. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Auspex
On 3/24/2019 at 4:38 AM, The Jersey Devil said:

Haast eagle in New Zealand

I found these:

~.jpg2.jpg

~.jpg1.jpg

 

If these guys were still around, there would be very few sheep in NZ (and they would all be very nervous...).

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The Jersey Devil

@Auspex

Thanks for the pics! If only they were still around. Not saying that would be good for the sheep haha.

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