Diplocynodon hantoniensis – Caudal vertebra
Species Name: Diplocynodon hantoniensis
Location: Hamstead, Isle of Wight
Diplocynodon hantoniensis caudal vertebrae collected from the Oligocene Hamstead Beds of Hamstead, Isle of Wight. 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. The caudal vertebrae are the bones of the tail; they support and allow the tail to articulate. 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. Each specimen measures between 25 and 30 mm and is supplied in a small plastic bag with an information label.