Oct. 5th, 2012 07:13 pm
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
It started out as just a normal cat mandible:

But then I turned it over and saw the new tooth that would have erupted if only the kitten hadn't died young:

If you need a pick-me-up after such horrible sights, I recommend the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee! ;-)
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
After the usual cattle, sheep, horse, pig and dog bones it's fun to find some (relatively) unusual species. If the bones are a bit wonky, so much the better. This one turned out to be bone of the (last) week!

It's a cat tibia, which has fractured across its upper part. The fibula has also fractured, become partially fused to the tibia and twisted 180°. A new joint facet has formed on the now inner side. The medial side of the tibia has an abscess, which indicates that when the fracture healed, an infection set in. The bone is smooth (although it has become very eroded in the soil), so the cat lived for a long while after the fracture.

Unfortunately the lower part of the fibula was never recovered from the pit.

Fractured (but healed) cat tibia
The whole tibia. The upper part is towards the right.

Fractured (but healed) cat tibia
The lateral (outer) side. The original fibula joint is clearly visible.

The medial side with the abscess.
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)

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