Diplocynodon hantoniensis osteoderm or scute collected from the Oligocene Hamstead Beds of Hamstead, Isle of Wight. Osteoderms are bony external plates / dermal bone structures which serve as protection and armor; they feature on a large variety of animals but are most commonly associated with reptiles. Diplocynodon is an extinct genus of alligatoroid; they were similar in appearance to the modern caiman and they exploited European waters between the Paleocene and middle Miocene. Bones such as these provide useful information when interpreting a prehistoric environment e.g. the fauna present in the Hamstead beds suggests a predominantly freshwater environment with occasional marine influences. This scute measures 30 mm x 25 mm and is supplied in a small plastic bag with an information label.