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362 Views 4 Replies Last post: Oct 5, 2017 10:12 AM by Florin - Museum ID team RSS
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Sep 20, 2017 12:28 PM

Bones found - possible fossil by River Thames?

My seven year old son found these bones on the south bank of the River Thames last month.  He is fascinated and would really like to know more about them, especially how old they are and what animals they came from.  The one in the bottom left of the photo (darkest in colour) appears to be fossilised as it is much heavier and feels like stone.  What era would this be from?  My son's topic at school this term is the stone age so he would love to put the timescales into context with his finds.

Many thanks

  • Hi both


    You have a mammalian shoulder blade (scapula) and a limb bone.

    I suggest you MOVE this to "Bones, teeth & skulls" sub-community for a more specific ID. 

    I doubt if they are very old - Thames mud soon turns bone black. 




    PS: This is a good resource for Stone Age projects:

    (you can download a booklet)

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  • Hello,


    It looks to me like you've got a deer scapula, like this one:


    The bone on the bottom left is definitely a limb bone, though it's difficult to say an awful lot more without being able to look at it in three dimensions. I'm going to assume it's also from the same deer, and tentatively say it could be a the top part of the tibia (the shin bone of the back leg).


    For the bottom right it's almost impossible to say. It could perhaps be part of the tarsals (essentially the deer's heel bone).


    I hope that was somewhat useful!


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      Oct 5, 2017 10:12 AM (in response to Sophia A)
      Re: Bones found - possible fossil by River Thames?

      Dear Sophia,


      Welcome to NaturePlus and thanks for helping with IDs already!


      I agree with the deer scapula ID.


      The specimen below looks to me more like the upper end of a deer metacarpal. Cow tibia would be larger, and also more twisted at the upper end. Here's a comparison of Austin's specimen with deer metacarpals in an Atlas.




      I'm not sure of this, it's just my best guesst at the moment. Maybe better photos could help.



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