Friday, October 9, 2009

Gift Bones - Part 1

Much of my bone collection is found, prepped, and cleaned by myself. Some is bought, and the rest came as gifts from exceptionally understanding friends.

One of the single largest bones I own is this HUGE moose antler which was a gift from my parents. Which came originally from Canada or Alaska, from a male (bull) moose. It was on my wish list of odd items so I was very excited about this surprise gift!

BONELUST - Moose Antler

It measures 41 inches across the back curve. And has a pretty good weight to it . Here is a self portrait with it to give you a better idea of how large it is.

BONELUST - Self Portrait with Moose Antler 1

Want to see something really fantastic? Check out The New Hampshire Locked Moose Antler Project. Which involved two moose carcasses found locked in eternal combat turned into a traveling educational taxidermy exhibit. Absolutely stunning. Such a fantastic way to honor these majestic beasts.

With the birth of this blog I started to get "hey do you want a...?." questions more and more often. And of course if it is bone related, I likely welcome what you have to offer. So I started to get some pretty interesting things showing up in my mailbox.

First thing I got was this collection of partial skeletal remains of a Key Deer from my good friend Kyle. I remember him telling me stories about how when lived in the Florida Keys, they would just walk up and lick your hands.

Which is just never good for any wild animal. Most Key Deer have lost their fear of humans. This is the main reason they are now endangered.

BONELUST - Various Key Deer Bones

Kyle found these remains on the property of his old landlord and had always thought that he had killed it. Upon receiving the bones it was realized that three of the vertebrae were badly fused. Which could possibly indicate that the deer was quite old and/or suffering from a disease that caused this fusing.

BONELUST - Fused Key Deer Vertebrae
(click small images for larger.)

So I like to believe that the deer either died of natural causes or perhaps it was suffering and put out of misery. I have done this countless times myself and highly respect the work of a fellow angel of mercy.

BONELUST - Fused Key Deer Vertebrae Macro
(Macro of fused vertebrae.)

One night while I was out at a show in Gainesville I was located by my friend Will who had some fantastic gifts for me. I love the conversation he must have had with the door guy explaining that he had "something for someone inside".

"Can I just find my friend to give her something?"

"What is it?"

Will lifting the plastic bag with protruding bones.

"A horse skull and a shark jaw."

"Uhhhh sure."

BONELUST - Horse Skull 3

This is one of those cases where I loved the way the horse skull was weathered and won't likely be cleaning it.

BONELUST - Horse Skull 4

I especially love the cracking of the tooth enamel.

BONELUST - Horse Skull Teeth

BONELUST - Horse Skull 1

The shark jaw is 10 inches across so it wasn't a very big one. Anyone have any idea what it is from?

BONELUST - Shark Jaws

The last bone gift I received most recently was this fantastic mummified bird leg with protruding bone. My friend Bill posted a photo of it online. There were lots of "Ewww yuck!" comments of course. Except for mine.

His wife really wanted it out of the house so it took the hour journey to my house to a new happy home.

BONELUST - Mummified Bird Leg with Exposed Bone

I wanted to mention that this is no small bird leg. From bone tip to talon it measures 5 and a quarter inches.

Thanks so much to my parents, Kyle, Will and Bill for these uncommon gifts!

Stay tuned for more in this series of "gift bones" to come.


Paul Baxendale said...

Congratulations on your new acquisitions! The moose antler is terrific! Last winter I met a mountain man type of fellow in New Hampshire who straps on snowshoes and treks miles and miles through the forests in search of shed moose antlers. When he finds one he scours the area, knowing that after the moose sheds one, it doesn't care to walk around lopsided and will generally pry the other one off in the same area! I spent an exhausting afternoon trudging through waist-high snow in search of antlers without luck. Its one of those prizes thats still on my list (along with a whale vertebra!)!!!

Jana Miller said...

How about this Paul, If I ever come across another moose antler it is yours, promise. :)

I understand the need to new fantastic oddities in your collection.

I would have LOVED to have gone exploring through the snow to look for moose antlers!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Very cool stuff.

I've been collecting bones and skulls all my life (and as an adult, made good use of them as I worked as a naturalist and museum educator.

Now I am working on a story (children's) about a girl who collects skulls).

Jana Miller said...

Hi Mary...

Glad you found me! It is a rare pleasure for me to meet other women who have collected bones all their life.

I'd love to read your children's book when it is done!

Kristen Joanne said...

Love the moose antler! One of my wish list items. same as a horse!