Mystery bones

Now that it’s completely dried out, I finally got around to taking some decent photos of that mystery jaw bone I found in Arizona last year – or what’s left of it, anyway.

When I first found it among the other deer bones, its small size made me unsure of what kind of animal it had come from. After studying the dentition and comparing photos on Google, though, I’m starting to think that this might be from a baby deer. In one of his posts, blogger and bone collector Jake McGowan-Lowe shared a picture of a baby deer skull he found in Scotland, and the jaw bone belonging to his specimen looks very similar in size and shape to the bone that I found:

Photo on left sourced from All rights reserved.

I probably won’t end up keeping this bone since it’s so small and fragile, but mostly I’m just happy to have an idea of what kind of animal it came from!

Almost immediately after identifying one bone, I was gifted with five new mystery bones by my roommates, Shannon and Kelsey (thanks, guys!). These had been exposed to the elements for a long time, so aside from a bit of dirt, they were already pretty clean. I was told that the bones were either from a deer or a bighorn sheep, but unfortunately I don’t know enough about either animal to be able to tell the difference based on just three vertebrae and part of a tailbone! I’ll definitely have to do more research on these.

Since my other deer bones are taking up a lot of time and space to clean, I decided to bag up the new bones and wait to soak them until I’m done cleaning the other bones first. Seeing as they’re completely devoid of tissue and don’t smell bad at all, I’m not worried about them getting nasty while I finish working on the deer bones.

Also, if anyone thinks they know what animal my new bones belonged to, feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message!


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