Friday mystery object #430

This week we have another guest mystery object from Rohan Long:

Today’s mystery object is another item from the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at the University of Melbourne. In contrast to our last offering – a partial skull with most of the diagnostic features frustratingly absent – this is a full skeleton of a small primate. We have many classroom sets in our collection comprising complete, disarticulated skeletons of mammals, mostly marsupials and primates. The primate sets overwhelmingly consist of macaques (Macaca sp.) which I presume were lab animals from the University. Additionally, there are sets of a few baboons, a few chimpanzees, and one Sacred Langur (Semnopithecus entellus). Then there’s this one.

Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022
Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022
Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022
Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022
Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022
Image by Gavan Mitchell, 2022

I had originally described it as, “large macaque”, but after cataloguing dozens of macaque skeletons, it stood out as something different. It kept bugging me, and I had committed myself to giving every specimen in our comparative anatomy collection a proper identification. I had found some previous blog posts by Paolo while researching how to identify primate specimens, and that’s what prompted me to initially get in touch. In regards to provenance, our comparative anatomy collection was mostly amassed in the early 20th century, and many specimens are associated with Frederic Wood Jones, Anatomy Department Head from 1930-1937. Wood Jones and his colleagues had strong international networks, and there are species in this collection from all over the world.

As ever you can leave your observations, thoughts and suggestions about which species this might be in the comments section below. Have fun with this one!

7 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #430

  1. King of the swingers it looks like to me, unless aping something else it is. But species?…Hmmmm… very difficult it is young Skywalker!

  2. I had also thought that the skull was quite gibbon-like (and I was excited at the idea of having a gibbon skeleton in the collection), BUT have a look at those arm bones. Gibbon arms are looooooooong.

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