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Spectacular articulated vertebrate fossil found in building stone


Oxytropidoceras

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Oxytropidoceras

A picture of a quite articulated vertebrate fossil

appeared on Reddit today with someone asking

what is it. I wish I could find fossils like this.

 

My dad works as an constructer and he ordered to

cut many huge rocks....he found this ,what’s that? - r/Paleontology/

 

Yours,

 

Paul H.

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Copied this text from my reddit comment:

Hey all - this is not a fish skeleton since the vertebrae are not amphicoelous (concave at both ends); if it were from a bony fish, there would be a little diamond of sediment between each vertebra.

These vertebrae, in my opinion, are from a mosasaur tail: the vertebrae are solid (indicating it's from a tetrapod) and also procoelous (they are a shallow ball-and-socket joint, with the concave end on the front/anterior side of the vertebra) and mosasaurs have tall, rectangular neural spines and skinny, posteriorly inclined haemal spines. Here's a nicely preserved mosasaur tail for comparison (and, it compares very, very well IMO):

 

image_3.jpg

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I agree 101% with Boesse

 

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16 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

Wonder where the rest of it is?

 

Don

Probably in a different block. Sometimes what they do - at least in the case of limestone/marble from Egypt - is export the entire block where it is cut apart OR cut it apart with the saw quickly and then export it, quickly enough that the cross-section is not looked at closely. This happened in the case of the beautifully preserved whale Aegyptocetus tarfa discovered in Egyptian limestone slabs after being exported to Italy: image.thumb.png.2423a685530cff37815b4f4fbfc18aa9.png

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I figured it would be in different blocks.  But where are those blocks?  Hopefully not face down in a sidewalk somewhere. 

 

Don

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