Fossil Friday – badger ulna

DSCF3336It happens that last Tuesday, October 6, was National Badger Day in Britain. While the European badger Meles meles does not occur in North America, why should that stop us from honoring badgers? The American badger Taxidea taxus (above at The Living Desert Zoo) is only distantly related to the European badger, but it still goes by the common name of “badger”, and that’s good enough for me!

Taxidea is widespread in North America today, so it’s no surprise that is occasionally turns up in Pleistocene deposits. A handful of badger bones were found in the Diamond Valley Lake excavations, including this right ulna:

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This fragment represents roughly the middle third of the ulna, one of the bones in the forearm. If that doesn’t seem like much, keep in mind that badger bones make up roughly 0.0015% of the bones collected from the Diamond Valley Lake deposits, so even with such a small piece we’re doing pretty well!

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