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Now That's A Big... Carpal? Any Thoughts?


JpaIowa

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Ive been walking a few rivers in iowa lately (water level is way low) and have been finding quite a bit of bison material. I stumbled across this and almost threw it back but decided to hold on to it. After looking at it a little more the best guess I could come up with was that it was a carpal of some sort. I'm pretty darn confident it is too big to be that of a bison (its over 3 inches wide at the widest). it is wet in the pictures, one surface is pretty smooth and different in color and its very solid. Fossilized? I dont know. I reluctently held a flame to it for a bit and didnt smell anything. I thought maybe there were some old pros that could toss some input my way. thanks. p.s. first time poster.

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Thats kind of what i was thinking. Thanks for the reply. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether it is in fact a carpal? Or could it be from a different part of the skeletal system?

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I think it is to small for a mammoth, I would lean towards a ground sloth, megalonyx, magnum.

I don't think that size (beyond threshhold "big") is an important diagnostic character. All mammoths were small before some of them grew big.

But, it doesn't seem productive to argue species before we agree on the which skeletal element it is. The bun-shaped surface with no articular facets suggests to me "patella." But, show us some images of a megalonyx magnum so that we can make comparisons.

http://pristis.wix.com/the-demijohn-page

 

What seest thou else

In the dark backward and abysm of time?

---Shakespeare, The Tempest

 

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I don't think it is a Mammuthus patella...simply because I have one of those (pictured below). The articular surfaces on your find are more complex than those of the patellas that I have seen. I'd lean more toward one of the carpals.

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-Joe

Illigitimati non carborundum

Fruitbat's PDF Library

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I give! I agree that it's not likely to be a patella . . . the facets are too complicated. This may be one of those bones for which an ID will require a comparative collection.

http://pristis.wix.com/the-demijohn-page

 

What seest thou else

In the dark backward and abysm of time?

---Shakespeare, The Tempest

 

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The first thing I thought of when I saw the original photos was that it is some kind of flint or chalcedony nodule...then, I thought parts of it looked like bone. But now, I'm back to thinking stone. You did say it was very solid. Could you please show some close-ups of the yellow light colored area? Is that area translucent - can you shine any light through it?

The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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Ill post some closeups for ya tonight. I looked up chalcedony nodules and dont personally see the resemblance. When i said solid i just meant that it wasnt crumbling away or anything. I could have been more specific, my bad.

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Here are a few close up croppings of the previous pictures. I hope this shows a little more detail, its about the best I can do with my phone. The yellow area is smooth and doest appear to go much deeper than the surface. Light doesnt penetrate it from what I can tell. Thanks again for the replies.

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Thanks for the extra photos. The yellowish preservation is different from anything I've seen before in mineralized bone.

We just need to figure out what it belongs to now.

:)

The human mind has the ability to believe anything is true.  -  JJ

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