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mode1charlie

Request help in ID for Dallas 1968 fossil

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mode1charlie

I'm new to this forum, and would like to request help in identifying a fossil that has been in my possession for about 50 years. When I was a child growing up in Dallas, Texas, my father was a landscape architect who often visited job sites and had excellent relations with various sub-contractors. One day, he brought home a fossil "dinosaur bone" from a private residential swimming pool construction project. It certainly does appear to be a fossil bone from a large animal, and one can even see fossilized marrow in a hole on the specimen - but whether it's from a dinosaur or a mammal, I have no idea and would like some help with here.

The specimen is approximately 90mm long, 60mm wide, and 50mm high. I haven't weighed it.


Although I've worked in museums for much of my professional career (and so I'm motivated both by scientific curiosity as well as a strict adherence to scientific rigor), I've somehow never brought this specimen for any expert to identify. Don't know why - just didn't. My father is still living and a couple of weeks ago I asked him if he remembers any additional information on exactly where, at what depth, etc. this specimen was found. Unfortunately, he does not remember any additional information or context. 
 

I'm including some photos here, but of course would be happy to provide additional ones, or to provide any other information that would prove helpful in identifying this specimen. And thank you very much in advance.

Dallas 1968 fossil - 1.jpg

Dallas 1968 fossil - 2.jpg

Edited by mode1charlie
Correcting cm / mm error

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mode1charlie

Dallas 1968 fossil - 3.jpg

Dallas 1968 fossil - 4.jpg

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Rockwood

Astragalus from an artiodactyl.

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mode1charlie

Photos 5 & 6.

Dallas 1968 fossil - 5.jpg

Dallas 1968 fossil - 6.jpg

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mode1charlie
Just now, Rockwood said:

Astragalus from an artiodactyl.

Thank you. Now that you've given me the term "astragalus", I can see that's indeed what it is. Do you have any idea what kind of artiodactyl, and what period it might be from? (Again, recovered from vicinity of Dallas, Texas.)

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Rockwood
13 minutes ago, mode1charlie said:

Thank you. Now that you've given me the term "astragalus", I can see that's indeed what it is. Do you have any idea what kind of artiodactyl, and what period it might be from? (Again, recovered from vicinity of Dallas, Texas.)

Sorry, but I'm going to pass on that part. There are others who may be able to narrow it further though.

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Harry Pristis

 

Looks like a deer astragalus to me, a large deer.  But, things are bigger in Texas.

 

 

deer_astragalus_pairA.JPG

deer_astragalus_pairB.JPG

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mode1charlie

Yeah, a REALLY large deer - the astragalus is about 90mm long by 60mm wide, so unless I'm missing something it's not any deer species that exists today. And I should have pointed out earlier (but it's probably clear from the photos) that this is definitely a fossil, not a sub-fossil.

Per this site, it seems that there were several enormous prehistoric deer species in North America.

However, that's with the caveat that no one here has definitively concluded that it's a deer - just that it's an artiodactyl. 

Edited by mode1charlie
Correcting cm / mm error

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Rockwood

I hope you meant mm. I wouldn't want to meet the one measured in cm.

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mode1charlie
13 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

I hope you meant mm. I wouldn't want to meet the one measured in cm.

HA! Yes. Duh. My bad. Millimeters, not centimeters. (Need more coffee.)

I've corrected my post. 

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Harry Pristis

 

You might consider the possibility it's a stag moose (Cervalces  cf. C. scotti) astragalus.  That species is more common in the central USA, but it has been reported from Arkansas.

 

 

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mode1charlie
31 minutes ago, Harry Pristis said:

 

You might consider the possibility it's a stag moose (Cervalces  cf. C. scotti) astragalus.  That species is more common in the central USA, but it has been reported from Arkansas.

 

 

Interesting, thanks. From this paper, it would seem that the measurements are right in the ballpark, though this would be a range extension for the species.

It looks like the specimens in the paper are sub-fossils, but the one I have is fully fossilized. I come from a non-paleontological science background, so I have no idea about the expected differences in terms of chronology, or even what the proper terms to use are. I suppose what I'm asking is: how much older are fossils compared to sub-fossils (generally speaking; I would guess there are differences arising from different local conditions), and would the fact that mine is fossilized indicate a different species (i.e. not Cervalces, but some other artiodactyl or even another group)? 

Thanks to all for your thoughts and help.    

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mode1charlie

Thank you, Harry - both for your informed opinion on the specimen as well as your helpful explanation of mineralization. 

Just to throw out another possibility... One paper I looked at showed an early bovine astragalus that also could be a candidate (right size, generally similar structure). Could it be from genus Bos?

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Harry Pristis

 

Decide for yourself if this astragalus is bovid or not:

 

 

bison_bos_astragalus.JPG

bison_bos_astragalusB.JPG

bisonastragalusA.jpg

bisonastragalusB.jpg

bisonastragalusC.JPG

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mode1charlie

Thank you, Harry. From that diagram, it's hard to say. There are some similarities to Bison (the medial turbicle is even/level with the line) but it appears to lack any excavation whatsoever.

Would that point to a cervid (as you first suspected)?

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Rockwood

Starting to see why I took a pass ? :D

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