Jump to content

Vertebrae ID please


Rory

Recommended Posts

Hi, 

 

This is my first reptile skeletal find, and I'm absolutely thrilled, especially since I didn't expect to find much at the end of the summer.

 

It's from between staithes and mulgrave.

 

I know they're vertebrae X2, however I'm not sure what exactly. They're also in amongst what could be other bits of bone, the top bit looks like some hard outer exoskeleton (scales/shell?) Although it could equally just be the mudstone concretion.

 

Any ideas?

Screenshot_20190903-085130_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20190903-085139_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20190903-085116_Gallery.jpg

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fossil_sea_urchin said:

Stunning!

You found plesiosaur.

Hello Fossil_Sea_Urchin,

I'm wondering if you could help this invert. guy (and maybe some others as well) understand what characteristics of the vertebra distinguish them from say mosasaur or ichthyosaur for example.  I seem to remember that it has something to do with the convex/concave nature of the end of the vert, but just can't recall enough to have it in my ID toolbox.

 

Thanks,

Grandpa

 

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
fossil_sea_urchin
49 minutes ago, grandpa said:

Hello Fossil_Sea_Urchin,

I'm wondering if you could help this invert. guy (and maybe some others as well) understand what characteristics of the vertebra distinguish them from say mosasaur or ichthyosaur for example.  I seem to remember that it has something to do with the convex/concave nature of the end of the vert, but just can't recall enough to have it in my ID toolbox.

 

Thanks,

Grandpa

 

Well, It's jurassic so that counts Mosasaurs out. If you look at an Ichthyosaur vertebra then it's usually quite short and tall if you look at it from the side, if you look at a plesiosaur vertebra on its side you can see it looks much longer and like a fallen over hourglass. I'm not sure if the top picture is of the same thing as the bottom so I can't say this is definite, but it's my opinion.

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, while awaiting a response to my above querry, (Fossil_Sea_Urchin likely is off-line at the moment) I went to my search engine, did some image searches, and think I have come up with a diagnostic table for the three vertebra in question.  Would those in the know please tell me if I have it correct or not.

 

Mosasaur vertebrae     Convex - - - Concave

 

Pleiosaur vertebrae      Concave - - - Concave

 

Ichthyosaur vertebrae  Concave - - - Concave w/ hour-glass cross-section ( ends deeply concave, vertebrae thin, two ends almost meet in center.)

 

 

Oops, FSU just posted as I hit send.  Let's see what he said

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, fossil_sea_urchin said:

Well, It's jurassic so that counts Mosasaurs out. If you look at an Ichthyosaur vertebra then it's usually quite short and tall if you look at it from the side, if you look at a plesiosaur vertebra on its side you can see it looks much longer and like a fallen over hourglass. I'm not sure if the top picture is of the same thing as the bottom so I can't say this is definite, but it's my opinion.

Thank you FSU.  After looking on-line and using your helpful clues, I too can now see that this is a plesi.  Thanks for the education!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  I should have included these.

Mosasaur vert.  image.png.b8e2fdf65c5c6e455fcdeaa00002dd27.png

 

Pleisosaur vert.  image.png.7079167233847cb0133d446764a1d042.png

 

Icthyosaur Vert.

image.png.56648301d1225c7012412d99ae2b7a2c.pngimage.png.fdba12dfe649f8ef186754816debf9b2.png

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much, so it's a plesiosaur? It certainly looks most like the middle item in the photo above. Any ideas on which section? Neck?

Link to post
Share on other sites

image.png.bf068f9ce45d29870bfef6f46f30aa7e.png

 

Plesiosaur flipper Museum of Natural History L.A., CA

 

On your specimen, can you see evidence of a spinous process?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, grandpa said:

So, while awaiting a response to my above querry, (Fossil_Sea_Urchin likely is off-line at the moment) I went to my search engine, did some image searches, and think I have come up with a diagnostic table for the three vertebra in question.  Would those in the know please tell me if I have it correct or not.

 

Mosasaur vertebrae     Convex - - - Concave

 

Pleiosaur vertebrae      Concave - - - Concave

 

Ichthyosaur vertebrae  Concave - - - Concave w/ hour-glass cross-section ( ends deeply concave, vertebrae thin, two ends almost meet in center.)

 

 

Oops, FSU just posted as I hit send.  Let's see what he said

This is not a good feature to distinguish or ID vertebras.

For example: Mastodonsaurus giganteus (Triassic Amphibium) Concave - - - Concave w/ hour-glass cross-section ( ends deeply concave, vertebrae thin, two ends almost meet in center.)

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rainer_Schoch/publication/235732311_Comparative_osteology_of_Mastodonsaurus_giganteus_Jaeger_1828_from_the_Middle_Triassic_Lettenkeuper_Longobardian_of_Germany_Baden-Wurttemberg_Bayern_Thuringen/links/02bfe512f2db5091c6000000/Comparative-osteology-of-Mastodonsaurus-giganteus-Jaeger-1828-from-the-Middle-Triassic-Lettenkeuper-Longobardian-of-Germany-Baden-Wuerttemberg-Bayern-Thueringen.pdf?origin=publication_detail

It is at least a combination of all available facts (shape, size, stratigraphy, palecology....) that makes an ID.

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Pemphix said:

This is not a good feature to distinguish or ID vertebras.

Oh darn!  Just when I thought I'd found a good rule of thumb for my tool box. :default_faint:

 

Thanks a lot for the clarification and for the article.  I love learning new stuff I know nothing about - and that's a wide field of opportunity!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure You dont find Mosasaur here guys. Quite hard to see from the photos. Is there definitely bone structure showing? Maybe could be crocodile.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Showed my friend these who's brilliant at identifying Yorkshire bone and yes, these are crocodile verts. Very nice find.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, LiamL said:

Showed my friend these who's brilliant at identifying Yorkshire bone and yes, these are crocodile verts. Very nice find.

How did he know? Are the other bits fossilised plating?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon
On 04/09/2019 at 9:08 AM, Rory said:

How did he know? Are the other bits fossilised plating?

While the vertebrae of both plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles are both platycoelous, the vertebrae of marine crocodiles are much longer compared to the size of the vertebral centrum than those of plesiosaurs. In addition, the waisted/hourglass shape is much more pronounced in marine crocodile vertebrae as compared to the more barrel-shaped plesiosaur vertebrae.

 

As to your second question: no, I don't think those are scute, as those evicting have surface ornamentation, which is lacking here. The adhering pebbles are, moreover, both too think and irregular to be crocodile osteoderms...

 

On 04/09/2019 at 9:12 AM, Rory said:

Species?

Species ids difficult to tell with marine crocodiles in general, but I've seen most Yorkshire marine crocodilie material being attributed to Steneosaurus sp., as this species was around earlier than the other contender, Metriorhynchus spp.. As to species, probably S. bollensis, though see the below thread for an argument that Yorkshire finds should most likely be attributed to S. gracilirostris:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...