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Please ID bones found in Shell Beach, CA


I found some bones on the beach in Shell Beach, CA, in early August (2023), put them in a bag, and unfortunately forgot about them till now. Would you be able to identify them? I'm happy to return them right where I found them.

The longer bone is about 6 in x 1 in at its widest point. The small bone is about 1.75 in long with a diameter of 1.25 in at the narrower side and 1.75 in at the end that flares out.

Thanks for your help.

T in Pismo Beach

Toni, Pismo Beach, CA - January 11, 2024

Curator Response

Dear Toni,

Although it’s usually best to leave bones where you find them—especially beach bones, since marine mammal bones are protected by law—but it looks like you were in the clear when you picked these up. They appear to be the remains of terrestrial meals rather than marine wildlife. The short one looks like the marrow bones commercially available as dog treats (usually beef) and the long one looks like a pork rib bone. This isn’t the first time we’ve had dog treats on the beach!

Stay curious,

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.