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  Topic: Unknown Bone I Found On The Beach, Any thoughts on what it is?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:26   

I found this on the beach here in NC a few years ago, and I've had it sitting on my desk since then.

I keep meaning to take it with me when I visit the aquarium, but always manage to forget (blamin' the pain meds as usual).

Any ideas on what it is?  I think it's a vertebra from some rather big critter, 'cause it's a little over 4" across.















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“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:27   

Sorry 'bout the post title, I seem to have had a cut and paste accident all over the title.

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“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:34   

Looks like a vertebrae where it attaches to the pelvis.

   
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:37   

Thanks for cleaning up the title for me, Steve.  Sorry to add to your workload.

That's kind of what I was thinking, but I'm not finding pictures on the web of anything quite like it.  It's got a pretty cool shape to it.

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“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
stevestory



Posts: 13407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:43   

No workload at the moment. I'm just tasting my very first batch of Jerk chicken. It turned out better than it had any right to be. I couldn't find an actual scotch bonnet pepper, so I used a habanero, which is in the same family, and it's really nice and painful and delicious.

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,20:11   

all I'm sure about is that it ain't from a fish.

definetely a large mammal of some kind.

yeah, real helpful, I know.

looks too big for a pinniped.

the dorsal looks like an .... angel.

don't show it to a creationist; they might claim it as a holy relic.

hmm.  no vertical dorsal projections.  that might narrow it down some.

here, for a comparison, is the vertebra from a humpback whale:



note the very large vertical protrusion (forget what it's called now).

maybe what you have there is a neck vertebra?

look at this picture of a horse skeleton:



note the vertical protrusions on all vertebrae but the neck.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,20:44   

Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,20:11)
all I'm sure about is that it ain't from a fish.

definetely a large mammal of some kind.

yeah, real helpful, I know.

looks too big for a pinniped.

the dorsal looks like an .... angel.

don't show it to a creationist; they might claim it as a holy relic.

hmm.  no vertical dorsal projections.  that might narrow it down some.

here, for a comparison, is the vertebra from a humpback whale:

(snip image)

note the very large vertical protrusion (forget what it's called now).

maybe what you have there is a neck vertebra?

look at this picture of a horse skeleton:

(snip image)

note the vertical protrusions on all vertebrae but the neck.

Actually, knowing that it didn't come from a fish is quite helpful.  That really does narrow it down quite a bit.  I'll concentrate on other things.

So far as I can find on teh interwebs, it's also not a whale or dolphin.  The "angel wings", the protrusions on the sides have a very definite curve to them that I haven't seen in any images of marine mammals.  I've been searching equine vertebrae images, as there is a population of feral horses on the islands around Cape Lookout, which is just offshore here.

I'm having a spot of trouble finding some good close-ups, however.  Mostly I'm finding logos for "horse chiropractors".

I think I'm going to make a rule where no one is allowed to use the interwebs anymore for junk I'm not looking for.  It's damned hard to sift through all the crap to find what I want, and it's getting annoying.

As for the lack of dorsal projections, beings that I ain't a biologisticalist, I haven't ruled out anything based on that, because I'm not for sure that such a projection hasn't just been lost in oceanic meanderings.  Doesn't seem like it could have been meandering too long though, given that the curly "angel wings" are still there.  Seems like an extended bounce-around in the water would have busted them off.

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“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,20:50   

Quote
I think I'm going to make a rule where no one is allowed to use the interwebs anymore for junk I'm not looking for.


fine idea.

I kid, but i believe there really are customizable spiders you can use to garner information off the web that do an excellent job of filtering useless stuff.

... you'll have to google for those, though.

:p

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Arden Chatfield



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,20:58   

Quote (stevestory @ May 29 2007,19:43)
No workload at the moment. I'm just tasting my very first batch of Jerk chicken. It turned out better than it had any right to be. I couldn't find an actual scotch bonnet pepper, so I used a habanero, which is in the same family, and it's really nice and painful and delicious.

I think scotch bonnets and habaneros are basically the same thing.

AWWW... ain't he a cute little devil!



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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ScaryFacts



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:09   

Lou,

You have found conclusive proof of the UNIVERSAL TRANSITIONAL FOSSIL

Kevin

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:12   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ May 29 2007,21:09)
Lou,

You have found conclusive proof of the UNIVERSAL TRANSITIONAL FOSSIL

Kevin

Yeah, I've been tossing around the idea that I've found a completely new species of animal.  I think I'll call it "Louicus Cantfuckingfinditicus".  It's closely related to the common Snuffleupagus.

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:15   

Maybe I'll give Ken Ham a call...

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:22   

Unhelpful, but funny.

Came across it whilst looking for my bone...

um... yeah.

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:37   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 29 2007,22:22)
Unhelpful, but funny.

Came across it whilst looking for my bone...

um... yeah.

Lou,

You have something all over your hands.  What is that?  It looks like...too much time.

   
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:45   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ May 29 2007,21:37)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 29 2007,22:22)
Unhelpful, but funny.

Came across it whilst looking for my bone...

um... yeah.

Lou,

You have something all over your hands.  What is that?  It looks like...too much time.

Truer words may never have been spoken...

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Arden Chatfield



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:56   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 29 2007,21:22)
Unhelpful, but funny.

Came across it whilst looking for my bone...

um... yeah.

He said 'bone'. Heh heh. Heh heh. Heh heh.



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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:56   

You have favored one view.  I think, but can't tell, that it could be the rear part of a skull of a rather small mammal.  (The ruler is in inches)?

Could you vary the view?  Dorsal, ventral, lateral, proximal, distal:  (top, bottom, side, "fore and aft").

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,21:59   

Quote (Dr.GH @ May 29 2007,21:56)
You have favored one view.  I think, but can't tell, that it could be the rear part of a skull of a rather small mammal.  (The ruler is in inches)?

Could you vary the view?  Dorsal, ventral, lateral, proximal, distal:  (top, bottom, side, "fore and aft").

Sure, hang on a sec...

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:11   

Yes, in inches.























--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:12   

hmm. I think Gary's right.

I thought the cross section looked odd, but thought it might just be wear.

those "wings" do kinda look like they might be orbital bones.

oh, yes those new pics are much clearer.

yes, it does indeed look much more like a skull now.

it looks like the beginning of the vertebral column is sticking out of the top in the second photo. no, wait, pic 7 shows the back end of the skull, so the second photo is showing where the front of the skull is broken off.

the cross-section (last pic) looks like a saw blade cut through the skull.

also note the clear suture lines in the second and third pics, which I thought might be cracks in your earlier pics.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:14   

I am pretty sure that you have rear end of a skull that has separted at the frontal, and has lost the auditory bula.  The wing like extentions are not lateral processes of vertebra (notice they have an unfused symphisis surface, so I think they look like the temporal bone where it articulated with the zygomatic.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:17   

Yep.  The left auditory bula is missing as is the front to the critter.

I dug out my Mammalina Osteology.  If you could get a shot of the top of the skull from the rear with the squiggly lines (sutures) between the parietal and occipital bones in good focus, there is a 1 in 5 chance of guessing the genus, or family.

Edited by Dr.GH on May 29 2007,22:23

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:17   

It's William Dembski's funnybone. He sure ain't using it.

I'm trying to read the calendar on your desk, actually. Does it say that your basketball team beat Christ the King?  :p

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:18   

Quote (Ichthyic @ May 29 2007,22:12)
hmm. I think Gary's right.

I thought the cross section looked odd, but thought it might just be wear.

those "wings" do kinda look like they might be orbital bones.

oh, yes those new pics are much clearer.

yes, it does indeed look much more like a skull now.

it looks like the beginning of the vertebral column is sticking out of the top in the second photo.

the cross-section looks like a saw blade cut through the skull.

Oh yeah, I'm kinda seein' that...

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Ichthyic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:23   

of course, trying to figure out exactly the critter it came from is still gonna be tricky.

but at least we're sure it's a skull now.

I'm still sure it's not from a fish, too.

:)

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:25   

Quote (Kristine @ May 29 2007,22:17)
It's William Dembski's funnybone. He sure ain't using it.

I'm trying to read the calendar on your desk, actually. Does it say that your basketball team beat Christ the King?  :p

It's from "The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said" calendar that my Aunt buys for me every Christmas.  Sometimes I get such a kick out of one that I don't change it for a while.

It's the gift that keeps on giving...



--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:27   




The photo above is of the back of the skull with the skull upside down.

I need on like that, only flipped over rightside up, and from slightly above the medial plane.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:34   

Quote (Dr.GH @ May 29 2007,22:17)
Yep.  The left auditory bula is missing as is the front to the critter.

I dug out my Mammalina Osteology.  If you could get a shot of the top of the skull from the rear with the squiggly lines (sutures) between the parietal and occipital bones in good focus, there is a 1 in 5 chance of guessing the genus, or family.

Okee Dokey, lemme see if I can translate that into crippled former electrician.  Which is the front again?

(Just kiddin'.  I think I can figure it out, but I aint apromisin' nuthin'.)

Ok, top of the skull, from the rear, looking at the sutures, steadied on the desk, and Shakespeare (my golden retriever) has given up trying to eat the bone for the moment.

Let me know if you need a lower angle...





P.S.  Forgive the towel, I'm trying to minimize distraction and reflection from my cluttered desk.  Plus my Kodak Onsaleachrome takes really crappy flash pictures...

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:35   

Quote (Dr.GH @ May 29 2007,22:27)
The photo above is of the back of the skull with the skull upside down.

I need on like that, only flipped over rightside up, and from slightly above the medial plane.

Lower angle then?

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,22:42   

Try a little higher, and one about the same.

This is fun.

I once cleared a homicide over the phone. The poor investigator had a fetal calf's L. paraital and a partial occipital.  It looked to the CI like a child's skull.

If we had digital photos it would have only taken a few minutes.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
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