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What creature is this?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Lilukalani, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Lilukalani

    Lilukalani New Member

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    Hey guys! I went hiking in Pine Ridge, Colorado when I came across this skull. I am having the hardest time identifying it so I'm hoping you guys could help me out! Thanks so much!!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Looks like a fish to me? But I'm not as experienced as many of the others here so I could be entirely wrong!
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Also looks like a fish part. Can you show the other side of it in a separate photo?
     
  4. Lilukalani

    Lilukalani New Member

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    Oh! A fish part? I had thought a mammal because of the red meaty looking parts on it but I dont know much at all when it comes to identifying bones. I took several pics from different angels so hopefully this helps!
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  5. It is probably a fish, but it kind of reminds me of a wild boar jaw set.
     
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Positively fish but it has to be something big. Have to say that one of those pictures with it flat in your hand looks like a damned alien with a skull and arms. :) Seems like a silly question .. what does it smell like? Other than something dead .. Were you at Pine Ridge condos or the Pine Ridge reservation? Might be part of a razorback sucker but I can't find good references.
     
  7. Lilukalani

    Lilukalani New Member

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    Yea for a fish that has to be huge. As for where I was I had to grab my map because I was in multiple places. Luckily I noted what I found where! So it turns out I found that particular bone around the Dixon Reservoir in Pineridge. Along the foothills trail and the reservoir loop trail. Its right next to Horsetooth Reservoir.
    And the smell? It definitely didn't smell fishy but it did have a very very VERY slight smell of decay. The smell was so faint you had to have your face right next to it to pick it up. The bone was next to a slightly larger, flat and curved bone fragment that had some small hairs stuck to it. Maybe left over from whatever was eating it.
     
  8. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    looks like a large fish vertebrae.

    look on google images. were you near water ?
     
  9. Lilukalani

    Lilukalani New Member

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    Yes I was! A reservoir! So a fish definitely makes sense but damn now I want to know what kind. Seems huge!
     
  10. I did some research and these are the following species found in Horsetooth Reservoir: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Carp, Emerald Shiner, Gizzard Shad, Green Sunfish, Longnose Sucker, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Smelt, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Spottail Shiner, Walleye, Wiper, White Bass, White Sucker, Yellow Perch.

    But I don't see any of these species getting big enough to produce that size bone.
     
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    CARP
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Razorback suckers can get to be three feet long and are in the area. Might also be a part of something that was brought home from somewhere else and ended up out there. Whatever it was .. it was most certainly big.
     
  13. flintlough

    flintlough Member

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    Looks like a very degraded skull/atlas combination of a large fish.
     
  14. Wouter

    Wouter Member

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    It may be part of the neck of a large catfish.

    Wouter
     
  15. skinsandkins

    skinsandkins New Member

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    Wouldn't be surprised if it were a carp, especially since you're on a reservoir. A lot of the little bait fish are carp fry, and Tom the rookie fisherman doesn't want to kill the poor fishies, so he lets 'em go in the water and they get HUGE.
    [​IMG] ( Image source, if you live anywhere near the Great Lakes like I do you've heard a lot about these guys.)
    They're sh*t for eating most times, too, but you can't release them back into the water since they're invasive, so a lot of anglers will just leave 'em rot on shore. Pretty much every fish skeleton I've found at my local reservoir has been a carp.

    I can't find any good references of carp skeletons, but like others said, it does look like the neck bone.
     
  16. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Looks like a gator cervical vertebrae to me? But gator in Colorado?

    Just look to heavy and thick for a fish?
     
  17. Defnitely fish and not gator.
    Most possibly catfish
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  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That structure and crosspiece is definitely visible on that. Have to agree there. Channel cats as well as blues are found in Colorado. Not sure if they are in Dillon but they could be.
     
  19. flintlough

    flintlough Member

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    Here is an Atlas bone from a medium sized catfish my son found "nature cleaned" on a lakeshore in North Texas a couple of years ago.

    Wonder if there is something cool like this under the mat of fused gunk on your sample, Lilukulani?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Lilukalani

    Lilukalani New Member

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    A million thanks to everyone helping me with my mystery bone! You all have been A tremendous help! Seriously, I can't thank you enough.
    I will probably post a picture if I remember after its all cleaned. I'm excited to see what it looks like post gunk too!
    And maybe you all can help me and my sister identify a fractured jaw bone we found in a park she works at haha! You guys are incredible!