Carnivore Digestion


DMNH 42146 from Mark's Sink (8/96); innominate fragment (figure 9.4). Measurements: GL, 32.95; GB, 7.50; LSW, 3.85; PB, 11.50. This specimen exhibits extreme acid etching and severe corrosion over its entire surface. Articular surfaces are missing and the bone itself is severely compromised in density and completeness. The bone has passed through the digestive system of a carnivore, as evidenced by its overall eroded appearance and fragility.


DMNH 42148 from Mark's Sink (8/96); fragmentary vertebra (figure 9.5). Measurements: GL, 17.95; GB, 14.0. This vertebral fragment exhibits extreme acid etching and severe corrosion over its entire surface, which suggest digestion by a carnivore. The proximal centrum is intact. The dorsal side shows breakage and erosion. The ventral side exhibits extreme damage by digestive acids. The transverse processes are eroded to the point of being sharp fragments.


DMNH 20052 from the Badger Room (7/94); right calcaneum (figure 9.6). Measurements: GL, 19.80; GB, 10.50; LSW, 5.50. This calcaneum exhibits the wear typical of passage through the intestinal tract of a carnivore. Since this bone is one of the denser ones in the body, much of the bone remains intact even after digestion. The wear is most severe on the dorsal side opposite the articular facets for the talus muscle. The proximal end of the calcaneal tuber and the distal end of the calcaneus are missing. On the dorsal side the surface of the bone is extremely damaged and exhibits severe bone loss. The remaining bone has a honeycomb appearance.

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