17 November 2008

Note from the Lone Male Excavator

Hi all. I'm still here, treading in a sea of tar and estrogen.
In an attempt to be more like Andie, I've decided to put up another post and to start reading occasional comic graphic novels instead of just paleomammalogy and Harry Potter books, as has become the habit. I found this graphic novel of the first 10 comics of "Y, The Last Man" about this guy who ends up being the last man on Earth after all the rest die from something (don't know yet what, but I think it must be something to do with an attack on some phenotype from the Y chromosome, eh?).

Anyway, this guy is left alone in a world full of women, so I thought the series highly appropriate for me. We'll see.
Anyway, pulled this juvenile Smilodon vertebra out the other day (see pic). It is a very confused vertebra; it does not know whether it's an individual vertebra or part of the sacrum. This is a sort of developmental disorder likely caused by genetic problems and not uncommon in Smilodon. You can see (compared to the adult normal vertebra in the pic) that one side of the bone thinks it is a normal vertebra and the other thinks it is part of the sacrum. Furthermore, the neural spine is both off-center and angled wierd. I thought this one was pretty neato, but Michelle is the excavator, excuse me, excavatrix, who is really into pathologies.

This is one of the sweet perks to having such a large collection/set of deposits like Rancho La Brea: not only do we get a clear picture of the complete skeletal morphology of members of our fauna, but we get a very good knowledge of the pathologies which affected them.

Also see below the complete leaf I uncovered yesterday!

1 comment:

Spencer said...

Pathologies. I love pathologies....

A leaf! Any chance I'll get to see it?