This week I have a slight change from skulls for you to identify, with these vertebrae from the collections at the Horniman Museum:
Any idea what they belonged to? As usual you can put your suggestions and comments below and I’ll do my best to reply. Good luck!
I would say a large manmal with a very compressed spine. They appear to be thoracic vertebrae, and the way the dorsal processes are all aligned backwards in that way is very unusual. Don’t think it’s Cetacean.
Good observations, all!
No idea what the animal is but the top part looks like fused rib heads.
My guess would be thoracic/dorsal vertebrae (because of costal facets), of a camelid (old world camelid?) would be my guess.
Good stuff on the verts, but they’re not from a camelid
I’m flummoxed! Is this a typical representative or does this specimen have a significant anomaly?
Not quite representative, as it’s from a juvenile and it may be a little malformed either from life or a postmortem feature of drying cartilage.
The dorsal processes remind me most of an elephant; perhaps mid-thoracic region. But I agree with Robin that the configuration looks unnatural. The vertebral column in that region would have almost no flexibility, either side-to-side or up-and-down – though it would provide serious protection.
Oh dear…. so what other features do we look for as diagnostic? Would drying cartilage result in a sharpening of the angle of the spinous processes like that? I can’t imagine this was comfortable in life with the processes lying on each other like that. More views sure could help….
My bioarchaeologist friend has made a suggestion…. she thinks she “nose” what it may be… I think we are grab onto henstridgesj’s tail and follow that path…
I’m thinking these bones are from a juvenille E. L*******a or E. E*****s. Apart from the spinous process (which, as you said, may be somewhat distorted) the vertebrae look very similar. I think perhaps these are T9-T11 or somewhere around that region. Whatever animal these belonged to, it certainly didnt have a lot of flexion in the vertebral column. So I’m definitely leaning toward my above guess.
I just scrolled up and noticed someone mentioned it earlier…so ignore my cryptic answer. I’ll just lock in Elephant. Not sure if its African or Indian though.
I’m guessing Asian, strictly based on the angle of the spinous processes that appear to be smaller in the images I can find. Or mammoth. Ha!
Robin, good call on the Asian species; ‘Elephant’ was as far as I could take it.