ossamenta: Picture of an owl from a Medieval manuscript (Medieval owl)
My intention with this blog/journal was to post a bit more frequently than seems to be the reality. Sorry about that. Life has been busy, with lots of work, moving house and doing the last layout on my tanning essay. Soon (fingers crossed) I can hand it in!

Despite lots of work, there has been few bones worth writing about. One was quite interesting though. I had found this kind of bone before, but then as now I had no clue what it was. Often I can tell either species or bone type, but this time it just looked like nothing I had ever seen. A juvenile bone, so one would look for similarities in shape to bones from adults rather than a 100% match. Last time I gave up. This time I asked other osteologists on a discussion list (and oh what a useful discussion list it is), and two knew: it was a bird wing bone, an unfused part of the carpometacarpus. I had never seen even an image of an unfused carpometacarpus before. No wonder I had no clue how to identify it.

Bird bones
Carpometacarpus of adult duck, juvenile bird (possibly large chicken) and adult chicken
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
This week's weird pathology is a set of three pig front teeth from the lower jaw. They have fused at the tip, but are still not fully developed at the root. It seems to me that there are three different teeth: one decidious incisor (front milk tooth), one adult incisor and one adult canine tooth. Judging by the shape of the canine and of its enamel area, I think it's a female pig.

So what on earth has happened here? I've never seen a similar tooth fusion before. I think that as a little piglet, she (?) was kicked in the snout (or perhaps she went adventuring and fell hard on her face), and as the jaw healed from the fracture, this caused the developing teeth to move too close, and just as a tree can grow around and into a fence, the three teeth fused.

From below

From above
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Sometimes you work on average assemblages, the ones where your general impression is "meh". Other times you have those assemblages that may not be very special in the sense of high status or temple sacrifices, but still makes you want to keep them and hug them and call them Squishy.

The assemblage I'm working on at the moment is in a very well condition. Almost all bones have their surface entirely intact, even little bones of kittens. I'm planning to make the best use I can of this material while I have it and take lots of photos that I can use for reference later (see previous post on not having a perfect skeletal reference collection). Obviously photos aren't as good as the real thing, but they can be useful for confirming or rejecting species possibilities, particularly for bones that are rarely included in reference manuals, such as sternum, tarsals and bones from juvenile animals.

When I was sorting through a cat skeleton for bone recording and photography, I discovered some curious bones. The only time I've seen anything similar was when I did my MA in Southampton, when I turned over a human skull we were recording, and a small bone fell out on the table: one of the ear bones! I think these must be cat ear bones. Or do you guys have any other suggestions?

Cat ear bones


ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)

October 2017

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