More Horse, of Course

With the arrival of the monsoon more bone has come to light.  The small arroyo where the teeth were originally found produced another bone.  Tentatively identified as a calcaneus bone,  it was discovered about 4' from the pelvis.  It is still unclear whether the animal was dis-articulated after death (either by scavengers or humans) or whether the animal was initially intact but poor preservation conditions resulted fragmentary fossilization.  This question will have to wait until more evidence is uncovered, but a map of artifacts found on the surface surrounding the location currently do not give any indication of obvious relationships.  In spite of the fragmentary evidence, the location of the teeth (especially those with fresh breaks), the pelvis, and now a calcaneus suggests the animal was on its right side with the head toward the road when it was covered and the preservation process began.

new mexico fossils
An in situ fossilized calcaneus bone from a horse.

Location of calcaneus relative to the presumptive pelvis.
Marrow cavity and spongy bone is visible in the cross section of the calcaneus.
Google map showing distribution of surface artifacts noted around the horse.


  1. So interesting! So great so can keep going finding more parts and giving you more information!

  2. I took Anatomy in college but that was eons ago. Wracking my brain [ouch!] trying to remember some..................

  3. I believe it is analogous to the heel bone in humans but on a horse it is found further up the leg. I reached several dead ends trying to identify the bone but finally succeeded after much searching. It would be nice to find an intact skeleton but I suspect this specimen is disarticulated and and fragmentary since I have not found any long bones.