Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dr. Vector's Science Challenge

Identify this object. First one to get it right gets a nifty prize.* Sarah and Ashley are inelligible, and they know why.

*To be determined later.



Blogger J-Rod said...

I was going to try it, but I realized I don't really have a chance.

My initial impression was that it was a vertebra, with some reconstruction with hot glue, it appears.

Then, I thought it looked more like a mushroom, but I wouldn't even know where to look for a mushroom that weird.

So, a vertebra or a mushroom, that's all I got.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Sordes said...

I would also say it is a vertebra, probably those of a fish, perhaps a shark. I remember a similar question at tonmo.com, where a very strange organic object was shown. There was nearly nothing which fitted its shape,untill it was identified as the still not completely ossified sternum of a young seal.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Dr. Vector said...

You're all correct that it's a vertebra, but that was the gimme part. To win the Science Challenge you have to tell me what it belonged to.

One of you will be slapping your forehead soon...

3:54 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

Cetacean distal caudal.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

Olmec death mask.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

Something to do with sauropods.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

Is it coccygeal vert IV or V from a human? I doubt it actually, but worth a try...

Disappearing reappearing comment: spooky!

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anthony Docimo said...

I would have to guess - a seed.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

its an osteomyelitic croc vert, probably bitten and infected by a blogger with too much time on their hands

1:31 PM  
Blogger Dr. Vector said...


Darren got it with 'cetacean distal caudal'. But did you know you got it? At first I thought the post-correct-answer comments were just riffing, but now I'm not so sure. The disappearing-reappearing comment casts doubt on my "he knew he had it on his second try" hypothesis. Anything you can tell us?

I figured the two clues in the image would give it away (see next post).

Good show by j-rod and sordes. Rodster, you are right on about the glue, the growth plates on either end of the centrum (body of the vert) are glued on. Those things fall off in a heartbeat even in big old whales. I have some photos of loose ones; ought to blog about that someday.

9:37 PM  
Blogger J-Rod said...

Well, getting that it was a vertebra and that hot glue was involved was well above par for me in the Bio-Realm, so I'm pretty happy with that result.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Darren Naish said...

Ha ha, fooled ya'gain!

Oh, I knew what it was from the start. I was just mucking around...

Actually, I did at first think that my proposed coccygeal ID might be correct. When you said no I started thinking about those odd subcentral foramina, and that's what led me to whales.

Incidentally, the real reason some of my comments disappear and reappear it that, on re-reading, I notice a dumbass spelling or other mistake and hence delete, rewrite and repost!

4:53 AM  

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