Found this loose on beach near Highcliffe Dorset following recent crazy weather.
It's definately a bone, and appears to be heavily mineralised and well, stone like, but the structure just looks too well preserved, clean and light to be a 'fossil'. But then I have no idea !
Any thoughts or comments would be welcome.
Nice find jamdoughnuts
I don't know what it is from but the interesting thing is the straight end to the bone sugesting it was a domestic animal and the bone cut straight across to get the marrow out.
It looks very old, how big is it?
Yup - bone, but of what I can't say.
The lightness strongly suggests it is recent (non-lithified), irrespective of it seeming to be mineralized (some modern bones are pretty hard).
Somebody else here may be able to suggest what animal it came from.
I don't think it's fossilised but people still collect more recent artifacts like what you have found, infact there is an internet site selling nothing but bones dredged up from the North Sea.
In our area something like your find could be roman or anglo saxon but I only collect the bones that I find in the peat beds that are exposed when the tide goe's down, then i am sure they are 'old' and not more recent.
I once found a skeleton in the peat, it was R,C,D and turned out to be 1000yo and the peat bed was 2000yo.
I hope it's ok as I have attached some images of a skull I found on the Holderness Coast.
Thanks for the extra info. Your skull is very impressive, an amazing find.
In the last few days Ive been looking more carefully at my bone and I am convinced it is fully fossilised. It's very hard to get that over on a blog though, something that you can only tell by handling it.
I wonder whether it might be worth trying to identify the type of bone. I'm going to repost this on the 'bones and stuff' thread..
Thanks again for your help.
Thanks for cross posting this, I very rarely wander into the fossils forum but this is quite interesting. First of all it is hollow so it is from a terrestrial rather than a marine mammal. It is also relatively flat which would only realy fit with a distal radius. There are two articular surfaces on the end which is consistent with the distal radius articulating with the separate carpal bones. The foramina for the distal nutrient artery is in the correct place for a radius. The size would be consistent with a large mammal (such as a cow).
I hope you can see the similarity to the cow radius in this link, your specimen has been worn by the sea and I think this fully explains the differences. The radius is the top bone and the distal end is to the left of the photo (the ulna is the other way round.
Age, no idea!!!
Thanks for calling-in, and giving such an erudite reply.
It is also very satisfying to sit back and follow an expert's thought process in an area where I have little experience and no training.
Wow - this is now turning into an episode of CSI Dorset !. What amazing insight. I have been fishing around looking for long bone images on the web with nutrient artery foramen at the correct relative site for a few days now and thought it might be the knee end of a femur but your description as a (potentially) bovine ulna fits perfectly. I am still puzzled by two things. Is the uniformity of the cut acoss the shaft enough to point at it being slaughtered or is this more likely to be due to water erosion making it appear more clean than it initially was ?. Age... It is definately fully mineralised. I guess this process takes as long as a peice of string but it was found on highcliffe beach which is largely Eocene geology. There is a chance, as it was loose on the beach, that it had been washed in from elsewhere but how likely is this ?.
Anyway, thanks again to you and Mike for your very kind and brilliant insight.
That should be Radius not Ulna. The uniformity of the 'cut' is difficult but if the bone is fully mineralised then it would become brittle and I can see how a clean cut would be possible. Think of trying to get plant stems, belemnites, ichthyosaur ribs etc. out of matrix, they commonly break cleanly across the shaft. As to the age, there were mammals in the Eocene which were big anough to have needed a bone this size, however, I know of at least one archeology research degree (Southampton in the 1980's) which studied cattle remains from the sea bed on the south side of the Isle of Wight, and there were a lot of cattle bones.
Thats all excellent.
Very satisfying stuff.