Fossil Friday 11/13/15: An anthracothere astragalus


UF 244181, the astragalus of the anthracothere Arretotherium meridionale (left: anterior view; right: medial view). Photo © VP FLMNH.

This week’s Fossil Friday (the 13th) post features an anthracothere astragalus! This specimen was found in El Lirio Norte of the Las Cascadas Formation and is early Miocene in age. The astragalus is a tarsal, which is a bone found in the ankle. Astragali are very helpful in determining what kind of animal the bone might have belonged to. For example, the “double-pulley” morphology of this anthracothere astragalus is indicative of artiodactyls, so you would also be able to see this kind of morphology in the astragali of camels, deer, and other artiodactyls.

To learn more about this anthracothere, called Arretotherium meridionale, check out our previous Fossil Friday post on it here.