Archive for the ‘Mystery Anatomy Posts (all)’ Category

Jason Anderson, vertebrate paleontologist and anatomist at the University of Calgary (Canada), shared these two intriguing photos with me, and agreed for me to share them with you. Yay, thanks Jason! Good timing for a badly needed Mystery Dissection post:

What are they (species ID) *AND* from what region of the body?

(they are the same region, same specimen, same animal)

RULE: Your answer must be in the form of a winter holiday song (at least four lines)!

If you’ve been following some of my recent tweets, I’ve been tweeting about the “joys” of increased academic paperwork around holiday-time; e.g. this one:

As always, you can score extra points for creativity.

Remember: the scoreboard is here.

Difficulty: Integumentary

Stomach-Churning Rating: 6/10; if beauty is only skin deep, then ugly is, too?

Here they are…



Read Full Post »

Well lookie here… it’s a new Mystery CT slice challenge! And it’s appearing while Society of Vertebrate Paleontology members are busy drinking and eating at the conference’s welcome reception– how naughty of me!

What is it, what species, etc.– tell me what you can.

RULE: Your answer must involve excessive alliteration!!!

Prodigious perambulations of appropriate prose promise to procure prodigious points!

Remember: the scoreboard is here.

Difficulty: lumpy + alliteration + possible intoxication if you are an SVP attendee (John whistles innocently).

Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10 unless you have lump-associated PTSD.

Proceed, plucky puzzle ponderers!

Mystery CT 10

EDIT: These images give the answer and show some cool features. It’s an Asian elephant skull, NHMUK 1984.516, of a juvenile animal (probably a UK zoo animal). Gotta love that pneumaticity!
Elephant skull _Se1_Im002

And another view:

Elephant skull _Se1_Im001

Read Full Post »

Hey, Christofer Clemente sent me these photos of a ~10cm long skull found by a student on a beach in Perth, Australia ( sent to Chris by Christine Cooper from ECU in Perth). What is it?

I figured I’d feed it to our mystery anatomy gurus for some fun, and see what comes up. You must justify your answer to get points. Convincing us with links to other photos/images will help. I have my ideas what it is, but they kind of suck, because I suck at skull anatomy.

Bonus points for incorporating Australian slang into your answer or beachy imagery/jokes.

No rhyming, unless the rhyming is using silly Australian-ish lingo like adding “-idoo” to the end of a word, or making up Dr-Seussian Oz-ish words.

Remember the scoreboard is here.

Difficulty: skull…

Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10 super tame and evocative of lovely antipodean beaches, sigh…. (looks out window at grey English vista)


mystery-spec (4) mystery-spec (3) mystery-spec (2) mystery-spec (1)

Read Full Post »

Just a quickie here! I’m finishing a little sabbatical at Brown University and had a bit of downtime, then ran across this confusing image that seems to have loveable, sometimes-superhero Sesame Street character Grover in it, and also poses a tough but solveable Mystery CT Slice post! So go for it! Can you find Grover? (no points for that) and can you tell us (1) what the image is of (animal/species, region of anatomy, identifiable bits), and (2) what the heck is wrong with this image and why?

Scoreboard is here for easy reference.

Difficulty: fuzzy image, amusing childhood memories.

Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10 unless you have bad childhood memories associated with Grover.

This is the mystery image below, not the Grover image above! You cheeky monkey.

No rhyming in your answers or you lose 10000000 points! Grover is grumpy today and hates rhymes. He had a bit too much Hefeweissen and polka music last night. Pity the poor creature.


Read Full Post »

I have a rant to do, and an anatomy vignette or two, but before I do, here is a puzzleroo: It’s a reconstructed CT scan. I’ve digitally cut off the head to be tricksy. Come on man, I ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie! What is this beastie? Not hard in the leasty.

(your answer needs neither rhyme nor Shakespearean meter, but do take the time and provide the Latin binomen for reala– don’t just call it Peter or Sheila!)

Stomach-Churning Rating: 1/10. It won’t bite.

Difficulty: decapitation.

Read Full Post »

This is pinned to the top of the “Mystery Anatomy” page, where it shall stay for easy reference.

MYSTERY ANATOMY RULES: 5 pts for correct, spot-on and FIRST right answer, 4 pts for very close or second, 3 pts for partly right or third in line with right answer, 2 pts for a good try, 1 pt consolation prize for just trying, or for a good joke!

Poetry rounds have special rules as described there, but the general rule is that cleverness gets more points.

If you post as “anonymous” name then it all goes into the same tomb of the unknown anatomist.

If you change your answer, you may lose ~1 pt if I feel frigidly cruel.

Answers posted via Twitter, Facebook, email or whatever do not count! No appeals. I am a frigid dictator. :-)

CURRENT SCORES- In order from top, ice-cool score to lukewarm ones:

(to be reset with start of 2014 game)


The Ice-Cool Eight:

Mark Robinson [38]– 2013 WINNER!

Michael Doube/mdoube [25]

Heinrich Mallison [24]

Jaime A Headden [23]

Stu Pond [20]

Filippo [20]

RH [17]

PaoloV [15]

The Rimey Runners-Up:

hypnotosov [13]

Anath Sheridan [9]

Darren Naish/Eotyrannus [9]

Casey Holliday [8]

Henry Astley [8]

Robin Birrrdegg [8]

Lisa Buckley (@ShamanSciences) [8]

Carolyn Eadie DeBoer [7]

Chris Thomas [7]

Jason Anderson [7]

Mieke Roth [6]

Check out the 5-point Gang of Awesomeness: Chris K, Olle Håstad, 220mya, Jason, Coherentsheaf, nick gardner.

Ever-persistent 4-pointers: William Perez (vetanat), Diane Kelly, Amy Beer, Colleen, Martin Brazeau, Richard Dearden.

Zoinks, 3 points! brooke, Thomas R Holtz, Jr, Christopher Taylor, Andy Farke, dobermunk, .gabi.sobral. (@darkgabi), Dave Hone, Ryan Marek.

And in the still-in-the-running, chilled out 2 pt sector: Nicola newton, Alejandro Otero, Joy Reidenberg, unknown anatomist (oh noes! don’t let them win!), Aldo Matteucci, Dan, Bruce J. Mohn, gingerest, John Collins, Carol, cromercroxHenry, AnJaCo, Ben, pakasuchus, Lorna Steel, Sandra N, Eric Morsschauser.

Finally, the 1pt hoary horde– keep trying! protohedgehog,  mcarnall, rebecca fisher, edward ayton, Welmoed, heather, Jenn, palaeosam, Carol Robbins, Old Geezer, A Person, rjm, Robyn, Morgan, Fiver, Colleen, Amber Alink, himmapaan, AnJaCo, J Gentry, Federico “Dino” Degrange, henstridgesj, smg, Jason Poole, Roger Close, Stephanie Pierce, VIvian (Allen).

Thanks for a good game of Mystery Anatomy!  A new game will begin afresh (afrozen?) in 2014!

Read Full Post »

It’s back! Mystery Anatomy is in full swing again after a lovely summer holiday in Antarctica- check out its fabulous tan freezerburn! We now have a new scoreboard page, too, for your convenience.

Today is another poetry round, which means you not only get 1 pt for trying but also can amaze and delight us all– and win extra points for rhapsodizing in sublime eloquence at the marvel of nature you are about to behold!

The poetry form for today is the SONNET. 14 lines as usual, but we’ll relax the form and allow you to be maximally creative– just include some rhyming, but you do not need to stick to iambic pentameter or other rigid, galling forms. You must (1) identify the specimen, (2) explain what’s important/unusual about it, and (3) have fun.

Look upon this foul form, feel its greasy exterior and inhale deeply of the same rancid perfume that might have graced Pliny’s or Caesar’s aquiline nose, while your mind reels at its historical significance, which spurred on one individual of some note to exclaim “I was so ignorant I do not even know there were three varieties… how do they differ?”


Difficulty: The poetry will be the hardest part for some.

Stomach-Churning Rating: 2/10. Again, the main threat here is the poetry.

Proceed, morpho-poets; let this museum specimen be no paltry muse!

Some labels to help those unfamiliar with the wonders of chicken foot anatomy!

Some labels to help those unfamiliar with the wonders of chicken foot anatomy! The position I’ve labelled the “extra toe” in is arbitrary; it might be “toe 1” that is the new toe. That might make more developmental sense, that the identity of “toes” has migrated up the limb to add a new toe– and is the spur in male chickens also spurred on by similar signals? No one knows, I think.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »