Diplocynodon hantoniensis – dorsal vertebra
Species Name: Diplocynodon hantoniensis
Location: Hamstead, Isle of Wight
Diplocynodon hantoniensis dorsal vertebra 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. Dorsal vertebrae refer to the vertebrae of the thoracic segment of the spinal column. 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 specimen is in relatively good condition; it has retained its overall shape and some of the main morphological features can be established. The bone measures approximately 30 mm x 30 mm and is supplied in a small plastic bag with an information label.