A while ago I posted a beachcombing of a bone found on the East Beach at Cromer, which my Friend Mr P. V. of Lewisham (who regularly entertains such images in his blog, Zygoma) identified as the humerus of a juvenile common or harbour seal, Phoca vitulina. I wish to register another in the canon, found earlier this afternoon as I was walking along the beach with Crox Minor and the Canes Croxorum. It doesn’t look like anything that anyone would have had for their lunch – there were tendons still attached. Here it is – scale in centimetres.
Here is the proximal end:
I think this is a metacarpal (hand bone) and, like the humerus, comes from a seal. The distal end clearly shows articulations with the wrist bones, and the distal end is a pulley-joint for the attachment of a phalanx (finger bone). Dog metacarpals look rather like these but have more swollen ends. I’m sure Crox Minor wishes it was from a unicorn. Or a mermaid. But neither has metacarpals like that. I should know, I’m a zoologist. And in other news, which I have probably related before, I am interviewed abut the joys of beachcombing in the fine periodical Oh Comely.