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593 Views 4 Replies Last post: Jan 27, 2014 5:24 PM by John RSS
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Jan 26, 2014 12:40 PM

Whale Vertebrae identification?

Hi,

 

I found this bone washed up on the beach after a storm, its very heavy, looks like a pelvis? I've taken it to the butchers and they had no idea what it could be!  Any ideas? 

 

Thank you

 

 

edit: could anyone help us identify the species of whale?

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    Jan 24, 2014 6:01 PM (in response to forestexplorers)
    Re: Bone Identification?

    I think its a slightly damaged whale vertebrae - the pointy bit is actually at the top - try searching google images for 'whale vertebrae' and you may be able to match it.

     

    Great find though - I'm quite envious

     

    Regards,

     

    Ryan

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        Jan 24, 2014 6:56 PM (in response to forestexplorers)
        Re: Bone Identification?

        I would think at that size whale is the only possibility - with luck one of the experts may be able to narrow it down to a species.

         

        Regards,

         

        Ryan

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          Jan 27, 2014 5:24 PM (in response to Ryanc)
          Re: Bone Identification?

          There has been some good discussion here and I can follow your chain of thought but this is not from a whale. This is the first sacral vertebra from a medium sized mammal, cow or horse. The large massive parts sticking out the sides of the vertebra are attached to the pelvis to transfer weight from the hind legs to the back bone. Whales don't have legs or a pelvis so there are no whale vertebra which have this feature. This vertebra is usually fused to four or five others to form the Sacrum. In a young animal the bones have not had time to fuse and they can be found seperately. Again in young animals the plate of bone that attaches to the intervertebral disc is not attached to the vertebra body and falls off during decay, this leaves the rough pattern on the vertebral body, as you have in your photos.

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