Seal skeleton at Cove Rock

During a field outing to Cove Rock a month ago a number of bleached bones were discovered close to a dune hummock slightly east of Cove Rock. The mammalian species was not easily identifiable and a bone sample was retrieved East London Museum scientist Kevin Cole to be used for identification (as noted by the red arrow in the photo below).



The particular bone in question (illustrated below) was confirmed to be the humerus of a seal. Retired museum ornithologist, Carl Vernon, helped with the identification.

kc gen1

The picture below illustrates the position of the humerus as part of the post-cranial skeletal structure of the seal presumed, in this case, to be  a Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus).


Reference: General Outline of the Organisation of the Animal Kingdom and Manual of Comparative Anatomy by Thomas Rymer Jones.


Subsequent to the find the skeletal material was reported to the SA Police Services by members of the public. The material was removed as it was thought to be human remains.




About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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