June 25th, 2013

BW icon

Ponies and the Pleistocene--Ouchie

Our bull, Mammoth Q, has an interesting detail: a poorly-healed rib fracture! Kimono is standing on a replica of Q, because the actual fossils are so fragile. You can see the bone callous is bigger than she is.

Some details on bones tell us a little bit about an animal's life. This broken rib, for instance, is one of the most common injuries male elephants inflict on each other today. Knowing this, we speculate that Q fought another male roughly a year before he came to central Texas. There is no way to tell if he won, but he did walk away with a nasty injury. It got infected, but it eventually started to heal. By that point, he had arrived at the banks of the Bosque River, where he spied some female mammoths. Q went to introduce himself, and it ended up being the last thing he ever did.

Poor fellow.