Saturday

What is this?

4 January 2009. IVPP, Beijing, China.

As I continue to work on fossils of the Tibetan Plateau, specimens collected from previous field seasons are slowly coming out of the basement storage into the bright lights of the research lab.

I was impressed by the intricate patterns shown on this specimen:


I have intentionally left out the scale bar; would you care to guess what this might be a photo of?

Jack




11 comments:

Ryan said...

Is it a lambdoid suture? Human?

Ryan said...

on second thought, I don't think it's human, so my official guess is just lambdoid suture.

Zhijie (Jack) said...

Nice (official) guess, Ryan. It is not the lambdoid suture (GENERAL NOTE: lambdoid suture is the contact boundary between the parietal, temporal, and occipital bones on the skull of vertebrate animals).

The suture is on the skull, though...

Anonymous said...

horn? (but only because you mentioned something about horns. . .)

佳安

Zhijie (Jack) said...

Not a horn! However, the photo is of something that comes with horns...it is a bovid.

Anonymous said...

So. . . what is it?

佳安

Anonymous said...

horn 2,anyway,let me have a look!

Zhijie (Jack) said...

Ok the photo is that of the frontal and fronto-parietal sutures on the top of the skull of an endemic bovid from the Tsaidam Basin (Tibetan Plateau). The animal is Qurliqnoria cheni, originally described by Birger Bohlin in 1937. This skull is a new find from 2008, and adds to our current understanding of this taxon as its overall size is small compared to the holotype, but probably represent the same species.

Ryan said...

Darn! That's exactly what my next guess was going to be....cheni, of course! (Seriously, though, that was fun; you should make it regular. Maybe will do this guessing game on the excavatrix blog as well.)

Spencer said...

First before I read any comments *averts eyes*:

I think it's the dorsal view of the posterior section of some mammalian skull, possibly a carnivore.

Spencer said...

Argh! It's a bovid...well, at least I knew it was a skull. And it's frontal, not posterior...grrr.

I agree with Ryan. You should make this a regular thing! I'd love that.

Spencer