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Hi everyone,
I found what I think are a lumbar vertebra and an astragalus bone. I'm not sure how old they are, but they both seem pretty weathered and possibly mineralized. Both appear to be from bovids(?). These were found on a river sandbar around Ames, IA after recent spring flooding. Does anyone know how to distinguish bison from cattle bones? 

The vertebra is 35 cm wide, 10 cm long, and 8 cm tall. The astragalus is 7.4 cm long, 5.5 cm wide, and 4 cm deep.

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Edited by ethos23
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DevonianDigger

I'm not a vertebrate guy and don't know much about these pieces, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum and say that these are nice finds! Someone will come along shortly and help you out for sure!

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I can't say I remember all the indications that @Harry Pristis has given us, but comparing it to the one I have that I believe to be from a Bison I think the astragalus is from a Bos (cow).

The difference in height between the right and left lobes of the pulley structure I think is an essential aspect. Bison having a more pronounced 'tilt'. Cows having a more generally squareish profile.

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Harry Pristis
11 hours ago, ethos23 said:

Hi everyone,
I found what I think are a lumbar vertebra and an astragalus bone. I'm not sure how old they are, but they both seem pretty weathered and possibly mineralized. Both appear to be from bovids(?). These were found on a river sandbar around Ames, IA after recent spring flooding. Does anyone know how to distinguish bison from cattle bones? 

The vertebra is 35 cm wide, 10 cm long, and 8 cm tall. The astragalus is 7.4 cm long, 5.5 cm wide, and 4 cm deep.

 

 

 

jV0sZ3J.jpg

 

 

 

 

I am not sure about the vertebra, but the astragalus is bison.

 

bison_bos_astragalus.JPG.42a6773c2d104d4c23a0bf995ef8b78c.JPG

bison_bos_astragalusB.JPG

  • I found this Informative 2
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:shakehead:  Back to the drawing board for me.

Seems I need to get mine checked when I get the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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