Puzzle time

I don’t normally go in for these types of posts but I did think this one would be genuinely interesting after the item in question turned up in my office. It’s obviously a mould / cast of something, but what? I will say it’s connected to my research and a published paper which is a small hint.

I’ll reveal all here on this post in a day or two.

And all is revealed. Well done to Matt who got this right and props to Adam who was very close right off the bat and220mya who was nearly right. This is indeed a positive mould made of the Tarbosaurus feeding traces I described last year. This shows a number of sub-parallel tooth marks having been dragged through the surface of the bone and a second set lying at an angle to the first. Thanks for those taking part.



6 Responses to “Puzzle time”

  1. 1 adam yates 04/02/2011 at 10:46 am

    looks like tooth gouges or scratches on a bone surface

  2. 2 tehsma 04/02/2011 at 5:20 pm

    I think you have cast a relatively small Archosaurian footprint (pes). To my eyes, the shape seems to resemble other ichnofossils identified as Pteraichnus. I also see patches of a suspicious linear pattern imprinted within the footprint, perhaps patches of skin impressions.

    I’m not sure how to interpret the larger, vertical lines which converge on the footprint. Maybe these are mudcracks, or even more amazing, a feature carved in the mud by the claws on the foot of this animal as it landed.

    Visual aid for interpretation -> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/58002/blue_copy.jpg

  3. 3 220mya 04/02/2011 at 6:48 pm

    A positive mold of tooth marks on Protoceratops bones, which you published recently.

  4. 4 Jaime A. Headden 04/02/2011 at 8:44 pm

    Several of the scratches have intersecting trajectories, which I think rules out tooth gouges. The marks further are all elongated and travel off the mould, and form from what appears to be a nearly planar surface; teeth marks should be short and travel in an arc with an abrupt “insert” phase, short “travel” phase, and tapering “removal” phase, where the depth of the mark moves from insertion at its deepest to removal at its shallowest. Further, adjacent lines are not parallel and, while they are straight and not curved, nonetheless diverge or converge toward one of their ends. These imply to me that they are not tooth marks.

    Some of these marks are deeper than others, indicating they were caused at different times. Toe-drag traces may be likely, criss-crossing with temporal imprint opf different or smaller animals crossing the same area at different times.

    I am tempted to suggest these are scratch marks from an alvarezsaur’s forelimbs, however much the idea is utterly strange from the simple appearance.

  5. 5 mattvr 04/02/2011 at 11:06 pm

    Looks to be some serious feeding action. I’ll go for more Tarbosaur feeding action on hadrosaur bones.

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