Fossilized Whale Vertebral Epiphysis (Growth Plate)
Fine and detailed example of a fossilized whale vertebral epiphysis (growth plate). All mammals have growth plates at the end of long bones while in juvenile stage to incorporate growth. Once adulthood is reached the growth plate is absorbed stopping further growth. This whale died as a juvenile and the growth plate slipped off the long bone. Age: 5 million to 25 million years old. Species: Megaptera species (?). Found in the Mid-Atlantic coastal region of the U.S.