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990 Views 21 Replies Last post: Dec 15, 2017 9:24 AM by Dr T RSS
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Dec 5, 2017 1:08 PM

Bones id

I'm a garden designer and found these bones whilst digging a large hole for planting a tree in a garden in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. They were in a layer of very compacted soil around 2ft deep. I'd be interested if anyone were able to have a go at identifying what they could be! The two larger pieces (vertebrae & straight piece) are very heavy and seem at least partially mineralised. The smaller piece with the joint at one end is much lighter so may not be related but was found in the same hole.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2017 8:37 AM (in response to W. Brace)
    Re: Bones id

    Hi

    I agree they do look somewhat fossilised.  They may have come from the extensive superficial cover of glacial debris which blankets the underlying Chalk.  I expect a bone expert will respond with more info.

     

    Lft Clk to enlarge map

    Capture.JPG

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    Dec 8, 2017 6:14 PM (in response to W. Brace)
    Re: Bones id

    I think you are correct and two of these bone pieces are fossilised; it is difficult to be certain from photos but the surface of the bones look typical. The third bone does look 'modern'; it is a proximal phalanx from a young even toed ungulate (deer, cattle, sheep etc.). There is a photo of the same view of a similar bone here:-

     

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrochester/23015013056/in/album-72157651496129381/

     

    Without knowing the length of the bone closer identification is not possible.

     

    Photo 2852 is the body of a vertebra, I think it is fossilised and it looks reptilian to me (I study modern bones not fossil).

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        Dec 8, 2017 8:59 PM (in response to W. Brace)
        Re: Bones id

        It is longer than it is broad and has a distinct waist.

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    Dec 15, 2017 9:21 AM (in response to W. Brace)
    Re: Bones id

    I'll ask for referral of the first two images to an internal NHM Cretaceous reptile specialist.

    The texture and colour are consistant with being from the Chalk.  If from the Chalk, then very unlikely to be a dinosaur (land reptiles) but a marine animal. It could also be from the London Clay.

     

    What are dimensions of this one please?

    Capture.JPG

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    Dec 15, 2017 9:22 AM (in response to W. Brace)
    Re: Bones id

    Hi Ben - Can a Cretaceous or Tertiary reptile group be suggested?

    If it is a Late Cretaceous reptile vertebra then maybe Mosasaur type???

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      Dec 14, 2017 2:13 PM (in response to Dr T)
      Re: Bones id

      Thanks, Dr. T,

       

      I am not sure. It might be difficult. W. Brace, you are always welcome to bring the vertebra in to the museum. It is sometimes easier to identify if one can actually see the specimen.  Our times are 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday. We are also open the first Saturday of every month - 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.

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    Dec 14, 2017 5:16 PM (in response to W. Brace)
    Re: Bones id

    You are only just in Chalk... can you give your postcode please?

     

    Lft Clk to enlarge map

    Capture.JPG

    The other colours on this map are younger strata lying on top of the Chalk

     

    Nearly the whole area has a superficial cover of glacial deposits - pale blue on this map; light purple = gravels in the valley floor

    Capture.JPG

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Dec 15, 2017 9:24 AM (in response to W. Brace)
        Re: Bones id

        Then it may have come from the London Clay (c.50my) which is, perhaps, more likely.   The overlying Superficial deposits were derived from whatever was bedrock (e.g. Chalk or younger) when glaciers and rivers were transporting and depositing material so it might have been recycled into the superficial deposits.

         

        Capture.JPG

        Capture2.JPG

        http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html

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