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Thread: Does a Whale have an astragalus bone

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  1. #1
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    Does a Whale have an astragalus bone

    Back when I was 7 or 8 years old, which would be in neighborhood of 1945, at Avila Beach, California, there was exposed in sand stone, a very large petrified skeleton. There was no skull, and I don't remember any legs. It was mostly backbone and ribs is all I can really remember. It was probably a whale, but we called it a "petrified dinosaur." I can't believe we were so ho hum about it. I was like, doesn't everybody have a petrified dinosaur in their back yard? I have no pictures, and it's gone now, along with the Indian mound where we used to find artifacts, dozed away to progress, when the county widened the road. The skeleton was located next to the Union Oil Dock, just above the surf line, embedded in sandstone. It was on a bench, low enough that an extremely high tide or storm would wash on it. My brother would dive for abalone in the rocks alongside the skeleton, and I would look for Indian relics above, and the petrified bones were just there, something we could show our friends. I found a bone that had been washed out by the waves, and I brought it home, otherwise that's about the extent of the "petrified dinosaur."

    To me this bone is absolutely an astragalus bone, which is located in the "hock," of critters like cattle, horses, elk and deer. The first photo shows where the "hock" is located.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1529419V points to the "hock."
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Above is the astragalus bone from a deer, and the next photo shows the location, in the skeleton, this bone is found.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1529420Again, the V points to the astragalus bone.
    And below are pictures of the "petrified dinosaur" bone I packed home as a kid, and have hung onto all these years.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1529422Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1529423
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now, after all that, is this a whale bone, or some other prehistoric animal? The astragalus bone is kind of a bearing, where the tendon crosses the joint. Even without legs, could the whale have a flipper with this bone. We didn't actually see leg bones, but is this an indication that there were legs?
    Last edited by BosnMate; Dec 23, 2017 at 11:26 PM.
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2012
    Tennessee
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    Although whales are artiodactyls, they have lost their rear limbs and do not have astraguluses. The bone above is a vertebra. Interestingly, I can tell you that this bone came from a juvenile because neither end of the vertebra is fused, meaning the animal was still growing when it died.
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  3. #3
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    OK, I'm not going to argue, because I really know nothing about bones. But any animal vertebra that I'm familiar with, which is mostly critters people eat, the vertebra has a hole through it that the spinal cord passes through. This has no hole through, or evidence that it is only a half vertebra as there is no remains or evidence of a hole, but it does have an indent like an astragalus bone. The only reason I know about the astragalus bone is that indent, and it's use by primitive humans as a ready made socket for a bow drill. I'm going to call it a whale vertebra, just asking a question I hope you can answer.
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  4. #4
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    Chris

    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by BosnMate View Post
    OK, I'm not going to argue, because I really know nothing about bones. But any animal vertebra that I'm familiar with, which is mostly critters people eat, the vertebra has a hole through it that the spinal cord passes through. This has no hole through, or evidence that it is only a half vertebra as there is no remains or evidence of a hole, but it does have an indent like an astragalus bone. The only reason I know about the astragalus bone is that indent, and it's use by primitive humans as a ready made socket for a bow drill. I'm going to call it a whale vertebra, just asking a question I hope you can answer.
    I for one can answer you this about bones,mine don't like this cruddy COLD blast we've been getting!
    BosnMate likes this.
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  5. #5
    us
    Jul 2011
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    These pix should help with a whale vertebrae .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1532183   Click image for larger version. 

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    BosnMate likes this.

  6. #6
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    Dennis

    Jan 2012
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    Nice Find! Looks more like an arm or flipper bone. (My opinion)
    BosnMate likes this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptEsteban View Post
    These pix should help with a whale vertebrae .
    Thank you, makes perfect sense now.
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  8. #8
    us
    Jul 2011
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    Here is a very good picture where you can see the spinal cord canal.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    BosnMate likes this.

 

 

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