Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What was it?

That ugly mystery bone is out now. What a disaster! when lifting it from its jacket, an undetected puddle of glue had soaked through the sepparator and firmly welded the underside to the jacket (lesson for the future - make sure there are several layers of sepparator between the bone and the jacket). The remarkable thing about the bones from this quarry is that although the compact outer bone is well-preserved the interior is like compressed flour. Once a break is started the whole bone tends to crumble to powder, much like the unravelling of a woollen jumper once the stiching comes undone in one place. Consequently the finished product is not one of our lab's proudest moments and I won't be showcasing it here. Nonetheless two things are apparent 1) it is a busted ischial peduncle from an ilium - exposed in medial view in the photo. 2) this part alone is about the same size as a middling Massospondylus, so although Rutger was halfway right he doesn't get full marks. The diagram below indicates which part of the ilium the bone is, and should give the astute clues to where I think its relationships lie (incidentally it is from the same site as the sauropod caudal I described in the South African Journal of Science (2004, vol. 100. 504-506)

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