Jump to content

Quaternary? Mystery Bone And Vertebra From Beringia


asedgar

Recommended Posts

Both specimens were collected in the late 1950's by Otto Geist, with very little locality information. The links take you to the ARCTOS database pages about the specimens, with collection info and high quality pictures.

This one was collected near Ruby, Alaska. My initial thought was that it is a horn pedicle of some sort but I would expect to see some brain case, and I don't. A previous identifier called it a Moose antler tine, but after some comparison I have trouble seeing antler tine.

http://arctos.database.museum/guid/UAM:ES:3616

post-11132-0-51032500-1363221274_thumb.jpgpost-11132-0-51039000-1363221278_thumb.jpg

The vertebra was collected on the Koyuk River, Seward Peninsula, Alaska formerly part of the "Bering Land Bridge." There's little collection information but someone has assumed that it is Quaternary and mammalian.

http://arctos.database.museum/guid/UAM:ES:26432

post-11132-0-36030700-1363218958_thumb.jpgpost-11132-0-09167000-1363218963_thumb.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alex, I have looked at literally tons of such Alaskan stuff, most or much of it collected by Geist for Childs Frick at the AMNH. The collections were split between Alaska and the AMNH (Frick Lab).

This might be antler, but I've not ever seen an antler diverge right at the skull cap quite like this. If it were from further south, I'd look closely at the possibility of it being an antilocaprid, like Stockoceros or Tetrameryx That would be wild indeed! It seems to have a vascular groove spiraling slightly up the length of the horncore, which is a charactedristic of most of the antilocaprids in the Stockoceros/Tetrameryx group.

Can you put me in touch with the right person? I'd like to borrow the specimen.

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Incidentally, Otto Geist is something of a hero at the University of Alaska, but almost no one outside of Fairbanks knows who he is. There is a fascinting biography of him written by Charles J. Keim, entitled "Aghvook, White Eskimo".

Here is a picture of Geist from my photo collection:

Geist1951

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this photo somewhere at the U of AK when I was up there last month. Exhibits? Lab? Office? I can't rememebr but it was this same photo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most people don't realize that Blue Babe wasn't the first mummy from Alaska. Geist collected quite a few which are now at the AMNH - Bison, horses, even some small animals like ground squirrels, etc.

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this photo somewhere at the U of AK when I was up there last month. Exhibits? Lab? Office? I can't rememebr but it was this same photo.

I know I've seen this photo too, I want to say it's in Pat's office.

Most people don't realize that Blue Babe wasn't the first mummy from Alaska. Geist collected quite a few which are now at the AMNH - Bison, horses, even some small animals like ground squirrels, etc.

Yes! I sorted through a juvenile moose mummy a couple of days ago. I'll have to check out "Aghvook, White Eskimo", Geist was quite a character according to his subordinate's field notes. Thanks for the tip, I am interested to learn more about him. Any ideas on the vert?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After a bit of digging, I think the vertebra may be Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) cervical vertebra. Can any cetacean experts give me some insight?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought (not an expert by any means) Could the antlerish piece be broken off the back side of a palm or thick part of the main palm support as aposed to breaking off the skull?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought (not an expert by any means) Could the antlerish piece be broken off the back side of a palm or thick part of the main palm support as aposed to breaking off the skull?

That is certainly a possibility, in fact that's exactly how the specimen was originally described. However after some extensive comparison I cannot find where on a moose antler this piece could fit and the texture of the specimen differs from moose (Alces) antler. It's not too far off from the texture of Caribou (Rangifer) antler, but again I have trouble placing in a specific place on the antler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alex sent me some further pictures, and I am more inclined to say that it is antler at this point.

Rich

The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...