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6176 Views 8 Replies Last post: Jan 18, 2013 8:09 PM by Ben RSS
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Sep 25, 2012 3:57 PM

Newbie needing help


New here, so please excuse my ignorance...

My partner and I collect bones, particularly off the beach when on holiday. A couple of years ago we found these two on the shore in the Outer Hebrides, Western Scotland. They have been hung on our wall along with whale, seal, shark etc plus land mammal bones since then, but I dont know what they are! Clearly the long one is a rib, but off what? Is the other bit related maybe...?

Having found them on the shore, I hoped they were Basking Shark or similair, but its recently dawned on me that they could be from, say, a cow, that fell into the sea!

Any ideas folks? The metal rule is 12".






        • Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 18, 2013 7:36 PM (in response to Ben)
          Re: Newbie needing help

          Hi, I agree that as it is symetrical it is a midline structure and a sternum (breast bone) is the most likely. The size is quite considerable and would exclude dolphin which leaves larger whales. Your bone appears to be about 2-2.5 times bigger than a dolphin sternum so the whale it is from would be about 7-8m long. This would put it at the size of a pilot, killer, beaked or minke whale.

          Looking at both pilot and killer whale skeletons online there is usually  a hole in the centre of the sternum which does not show on your bone. This photo of a minke whale skeleton also shows a very different sternum



          However, both Cuvier's beaked whale and Beluga whale have a sternum very simillar to yours:-




          Beaked whales have been known to strand on the outer isles, the commonest, I believe is the Cuvier's.


          I will allow you to make your own mind up and perhaps search for more whale skeletons on line.

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