Back in June I found part of a cervical vertebra. Today my dog brings me the distal epiphysis of a femur.
What is an epiphysis? See the picture below, the epiphysis is circled (the two pictures on the left are of a cat and the two on the right are of a dog).
In humans the distal epiphysis of the femur completely with the femoral shaft by about age 24 or so. Prior to that point it presents a characteristic billowy surface that is pretty unmistakable. The bone I, or rather my dog, found has this billowed surface so we know it come from something young. It displays some signs of weathering and some of the bone is exfoliated.It also presents a rather sun bleached, dried out appearance. It also has some teeth marks from my dog. As soon as I can I will get some pictures of it and post them. In the mean time, it looks a lot like the picture below.
Like the picture, it has a fossa superior on the lateral condyle (blue line), unlike the picture it does not have the second fossa (yellow line). The above picture is that of a femur of a wolf. Now my area has been urbanized for long enough that wolves are absent. I would be surprised if we have coyote (adaptable as they are). Methinks the bone belongs to a large dog – and by extension so does the cervical vertebra* I found in June.
*Fixed some typos.