Identification help with this odd skull/piece of bone please

  • #1
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Summary:

Strolling through the forest the other day when I found this interesting bone!

Main Question or Discussion Point

I thought it maybe could've been a snake skull when I found it, but upon further examination I could tell that it was in fact, not a snake skull, but more like a hardened, bone heart..? Hah. I'm stumped! Any guesses?!
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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From your pictures, I am unconvinced its a bone or fossil.
At best, it looks to me like a fossil of some busted up bone that has been covered with some encrustation. (I don't favor this explanation.)
I am not seeing any structural symmetry that would be expected of a skull (if more than 1/2 of it were present).
Volcanic racks can have bubbles in them. The bubbles and their distribution do not look very biological to me, but there are some bones that could have that pattern (in that case I would expect it to be a small fragment of a larger bone.

More information would help:
  • Where was it found geographically.
  • What do you know about the geologic history of the area?
I have found some weird and interesting looking rocks that are not fossils, but are caused by biological activity (like carbonate marine worm holes/tunnels).
I have also found some volcanic rocks in weird shapes. I found one in Hawaii which was the last flow of an eruption. A nearby palm tree fell over into it and let the impression of the budding top of the tree (somewhat like a pineapple).
Rocks can get weird shapes for weird reasons.
 
  • #3
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Thank you so much!!😊
It looks and is textured (to me at least) to be 2 separate layers of bone and maybe marrow and the holes seem to be closed up by the same bone just fresher. The outer part of the skull (or rounded part) seems to be calcifying like bone usually does it is incredibly odd I have never seen such a bone and find bones often ( though I DID think a turkey pelvis bone was some cool mythical creature 😂😂)

I found that little odd bone/rock in a huge field in the mountains of WV (along with this huge cow skeleton! Check out this leg bone, it looks like it's straight out of the Flinstones!) I mean, I was thinking maybe reptilian of some kind but I looked it up and didn't match. I took a short video of it but my camera literally wouldn't stop going out of focus! so I apologize for the terrible camera quality.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/6o7bj86em1629lo/20200419_161114(1).mp4?dl=0

Do you have a picture of the palm tree fossil? It sounds beautiful!
 

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  • #4
DaveC426913
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My first thought was the head of a femur.
 
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  • #5
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My first thought was the head of a femur.
Yes!!! Very possible. A rabbit maybe? Its about the size of a quarter so not big at all.
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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A quarter is 25mm in diameter.
A human's femoral head is about 40-54mm.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/femoral-head
("The natural size of the [male] femoral head usually ranges from 40 to 54 mm...")

This makes me think that a rabbit may be a little small. Hard to tell, considering the factors of square-cube law and diff in biophysical function could vary it quite a bit.

[EDIT] Nope. Apparently biophysical function (eg. running quadraped v. upright) has little bearing on femoral head size:
"The conserved nature of the relationship between stylopodial circumference and body mass suggests that the minimum diaphyseal circumference of the major weight-bearing bones is only weakly influenced by the varied forces exerted on the limbs (that is, compression or torsion) and most strongly related to the mass of the animal. "
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3403949/
 
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  • #7
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I found a picture of a deer fibula and tibia and I have a feeling that might be the winner. That is so interesting! It makes sense though, considering beavers used to be as big as a human 😬 I have a red eared slider turtle (she likes looking at herself in the mirror haha) and they actually grow according to their aquarium size. If I fed her just a tad more and got her a size or 2 bigger tank (she's in a 55 gallon now) she would probably be about the size of an average dinner plate! I believe the same goes with most reptiles.
Here's a fun/interesting fact. Humans are 1-2 cm taller in the morning than at night!
 

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