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365 Views 1 Reply Last post: Aug 18, 2013 8:54 PM by John RSS
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Jul 21, 2013 12:40 PM

Can someone identify this vertebra?

Can someone identify this vertebra? It was found on a beach in the north of Scotland. It is 10.5 cm across, 8.5 cm high, and 4.5 cm thick. Thanks!

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    Aug 18, 2013 8:54 PM (in response to ChrisJ)
    Re: Can someone identify this vertebra?

    This is a thoracic vertebra as indicated by the joint surfaces for the ribs. These joint sufaces are smooth which suggests a terrestrial mammal (including seal); in dolphins and whales these articulations tend to be pitted. In animals such as deer there is a long spine on the back of each thoracic vertebrae and although the end of the spine is broken off I favour the short spine of a Seal. I have measured a common seal thoracic vertebra, which is very simillar to this one, and it is 7.6cm across so my best guess is a Grey Seal.

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