Instructables

What is this?

I found this in the black sea, and I have no idea what it is. It feels kind of like a bone, is a bit thicker than 3 peices of paper towards the wide end, and has a hollow tunnel going through from the small end and opens out in the wide end (see diagram). If anyone has any ideas, please tell me.

Picture of What is this?
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snewburg3 years ago
This is definitely the lower right jaw bone (mandible) of a dolphin or porpoise. The ridge seen in photo #3 once held the teeth.

Here are a couple of image results that show similar specimens:

http://eheritage.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/resources/fullimage.aspx?f=letter%3DD%26page%3D4&TITLE=Dolphin+Jaw+Bone&ID=MMT_A_1991-501A&ImageNum=1

http://orcaweb.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/p10507613.jpg?w=300&h=225
KentuckySam (author) 3 years ago
Thanks alot, its been bugging me for years!
hellrider754 years ago
a piece of wood or somenthing from this planet(i am wrong?)
NachoMahma4 years ago
. I'll make a wild guess and say it's part of the shell of a conch-ish type mollusc
Damn big conch - look at the scale from the second image!
.  "-ish" Maybe not a conch, but some kind of shelled gastropod mollusc or similar.
.  Some conchs do get rather large. A Q&D look a Google Images and I see at least one pic of a shell as big as a kid's head.
.  Like I said, just a wild guess. I'm curious to see if anyone can figure it out.
Oh, I thought you meant the shorter spines on the "blunt" end. It certainly could be the "tail" end of a similar shell.
NachoMahma4 years ago
.  Second wild guess: the barb/stinging spine from a ray, skate, or similar
Could this be from one of those "tube snake" things (don't know what they are called) that attach themselves to coral reefs? I remember seeing something like this on a documentary on TV years ago, but I have no idea if this type of creature lives in the black sea. My first thought was a conch shell like Nacho said but ... that would be one mother of a conch!
Kiteman4 years ago
I would take it to a Natural History Museum and ask for help there.

If you don't have one near-by, try the British Natural History Museum's Identification Forum.