My son is very curious to find out what this bone is found on a rocky beach on Llyn Peninsular, north west Wales. Thanks!
It is a vetrebra.
(My guess is a caudal vertebra of a porpoise, or other small whale. But, as whale skeletons are one of the few things I don't have under my bed, I have to leave it as a guess only.)
Thank you for helping us, how amazing you can tell so much from a bone found on a beach!
It is a vertebrae but a thoracic vertebrae rather than a caudal. Caudal (tail) vertebrae do not have large dorsal spines. Also on the side you can see the joint surface for a rib. The texture of the bone would suggest a sheep/deer to me rather than a popoise or dolphin.
Thank you. It's obviously been around a while so the texture is quite smooth and open where it's been eroded. Heather.
I agree it's a thoracic vertebra, but definitely not sheep but in fact cetacean. Porpoise is good for size. The very round disc with the crumpled pattern is characteristic for such animals.
I am not convinced that this is cetecean and still favour an even toed ungulate. I have attached some photos from the reference collection to try and convince you! The first four are porpoise, the next two juvenile Reindeer and the final four are Roe Deer. All mammals have the crumpled appearance of the vertebral body where the epiphysis and body meet but the epiphyses fuse early in terrestrial mammals and late in cetacea so it is more commonly seen in cetacea, even into adulthood.
Thanks for this. Yes, I must agree with you, the vertebra belonged to a sheep-like animal. Having access to a reference collection is of great help when trying to identify bones.