Will it be OK to send you photo's of bones I recently found on a beach in Newfoundland Canada.  I have been looking up fish and ocean mammel skeleton images and cannot find anything similar.

  OK, just saw the button below this box.  I will attach the photos. These bones were found in two pieces a few feet apart.

Post's pictures

Tail.jpg, 684.17 kb, 1136 x 594

Vert.jpg, 202.24 kb, 741 x 229

Hi William,
                   Could you give us some indication of the size of the bones? The forst picture might include a pygostyle of a diving bird, but I am awful with bird skeletons. I am going to cross  post to the bird list on this one.


"Hope is a duty from which palaeontologists are exempt."
David Quammen

William then posted again

 The first picture shows three pieces. The wing looking parts (right and left) are about 9 inches on the long measure. The center triangular shaped piece is about 8 inches on the long measure.  
   The bottom photo bones measure about 19 inches.  These bones are solid and heavy... compared to what I would think bird bones would be like, though, I never thought of bird bones.  I was thinking more on the lines of dolphin, baby whale or seal, but any diagrammes of these animals that I have seen do not show any type of bone like this.

The bones look mammalian to me, not avian. I'm pretty sure that the "triangular-shaped piece" in the first photo is a sacrum rather than a pygostyle, whereas the "wing-looking parts" are partial pelvic bones (each consists of a pubis fused to an ischium, but the ilium is detached and missing). The second photo shows a string of dorsal and lumbar vertebrae.

I'll leave it to my colleagues with more knowledge of mammalian anatomy to work out what kind of animal the bones are from. It's possible that they belong to a land animal that died near the water's edge, rather than to a marine animal.

The large and long obturator foramen is pretty distinctively seal. I'm afraid I couldn't say which species though.