Some bones

May 08 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

My family and I recently took a trip to northern Patagonia in Argentina. We visited a place called Bahía Bustamante, which is in the coast. It is beautiful, with a great deal of biodiversity including magellanic penguins, sea lions, rheas, guanacos, foxes, hares and many, many bird species. As well as fossils and lots and lots of petrified wood. The place was desolate, devoid of people for the most part, and a great place for bone collecting, since the weather is so dry it seems like boned stay fairly well preserved. The kids, my wife and I had fun finding and identifying bones of all sorts (though mostly of sheep) scattered all over the place, and when we arrived at the place where we stayed it was clear that the owner was a keen bone gatherer since he had bones displayed everywhere. We were quite excited when we saw the skull shown in the picture (front and back views). Can you guess what it is?

'Tis the top.

This is the bottom.

According to our host, it was from a group of pilot whales that got beached a few years ago. It seems that they got confused in the series of bays and small islands and a bunch of them beached. Group stranding is not uncommon among pilot whales. Apparently since they form very strong social bonds they will tend to stay together even if their "leader" is taking them into dangerous waters. During our stay we came across this pilot whale carcass which is supposedly about 3 years old (the carcass not the whale). When the whales beached, a group of biologists performed autopsies on several of them and tagged them. Thus the open flap on it's belly and the tag in its mouth.

Patagonian monster

We did not find any dinosaur eggs, but there was plenty of petrified wood, and nearby in Trelew there is a fairly well-known paleontology museum.

Our lovely bone collection.

We also made a few friends.

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