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Pleistocene Duck Bones from Ohio

Hildegarde Howard
4 (July-August)
From Field and Study
Online Text

Pleistocene Duck Bones from Ohio.-Bones of an anatine duck from Pleistocene lake beds at Lockland, Hamilton County, Ohio, were recently sent me by Donald Baird, Curator of the University of Cincinnati Museum. Explaining the occurrence, Mr. Baird stated that the bones “were found in sediments deposited in water ponded against the face of the Wisconsin ice sheet.”

The specimens, paired humeri and coracoids, and fragments of furcula and sternum, apparently all belonged to one individual. The species represented can, without doubt, be assigned to the genus Anas. The coracoids agree favorably with specimens of Anas acuta. The humeri, however, are heavier. Although shorter than available specimens of Anas platyrhynchos, they are relatively as broad, and, across the shaft, they are even broader than in that. species.

Variations are so numerous within the ducks, and the species of Anas generally so similar that the naming of a new species on the basis of the proportions of these humeri is considered unwise. It should be noted, however, that among the anatine bones examined from Fossil Lake, Oregon, there were three which, although shorter than Mallard bones, were very stout. Possibly future discoveries will reveal more occurrences of this nature. Therefore, measurements of the Ohio bones are recorded here: Humerus: length, 86.5 mm., breadth of proximal end, 19.8 mm., breadth of distal end, 13.8, breadth of shaft at middle, 7.5 mm. Coracoid: length, 47.0 mm., breadth of furcular facet, 7.1 mm., breadth below furcular facet, 7.8 mm. The bones beai the University of Cincinnati Museum number 25698.- HILDECARDE HOWARD, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, California, January 17, 1951.

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