Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Tyranny of Taphonomy

I have been watching this deer to collect its skull and antlers since it was first hit by a car. With the rains first coming, I stopped checking on its decay/readiness to pick up. Alas, it seems someone or something did a highlander and took the head.

This is a common problem when an animal dies prior to fossilization: animals take pieces and scatter them about. That's why many paleo critters are known from a handful of bones. The conditions have to be right and the burial process must have good timing and the critters that pick clean carcasses must cooperate.

For this buck, they did not. Oh the terrible tyranny of taphonomy!

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