I found this fossil toe bone recently (late November) at Bouldnor beach on the Isle of Wight. It is presumably from the Hamstead formation, about 30-32 million years old (Oligocene) and either comes from some kind of crocodile, turtle or mammal.
It measures 35mm in length.
I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me narrow down the animal it possibly comes from? I think it is mammalian of some kind but am not 100% sure. Crocodile is still a possibility but i think it is too big to be turtle. The most common mammals in the area after a bit of research were artiodactyl anthracothere's such as Bothriodon and Elomeryx but i have been unable to find images of similar specimens from these animals on the internet to compare to. There are a lot of other mammals known from this formation too but again i have not found anything to compare with.
I would really like to know what this bone comes from so appreciate any input.
This is certainly a 'toe' bone and to be more precise a proximal phalanx, the bone closest to the foot/hand. The phalanx looks asymetyrical in a similar way to even toed ungulate 'toe' bones and I wonder if that is what you have here. I am not convinved that this is fossil, the medullary bone is still quite aerated which to me would suggest something more recent; either modern or ice age. Take a look at deer including reindeer.
Thanks for your response! It was found at the base of the clay cliffs, amongst other fossils of the same age (turtle shells, other bones etc) so i can't see how it wouldn't be a fossil as well but i understand where you are coming from. Lots of the bones from this locality look like they could be recent in age and feel light enough too but they are actually fossils. This specimen would have been freshly exposed by a large storm that hit the area a week or so prior to when i found it.
So you are thinking it could be from an artiodactyl?