Emily Wilkins's picture

Backbone found on beach, east side of Iona

Observed: 28th March 2012 By: Emily Wilkins
vertebrae on iona beach

No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


itsmeal's picture


This appears to be mammalian in origin(general appearance) There are very large spines and transverse processes but no sign of limb girdle or ribs, it would apppear to be quite large ?6-12ft long( comparing it with the grass) Could it be the lumbar and lower spine of some cetacean ?Possibly a Bottlenose Dolphin(wild guess)The large spinal processes would sugest some major paraspinal muscle attatchments which I guess all cetaceans need.Howevr there appear to be 31 vertebae this seems a great number for a mammal unless it includes all the vertebae incuding sacral and caudal,Very interesting ,but I can only speculate Hopefully there is an expert who will be able to help

Alan Edwards

jp8694's picture


I found a dolphin/porpoise skull with some vertebrae washed up on Gigha when on holiday last April. The vertebrae looked very similar to the smallest vetebrae in your picture (nearest the right side of the pic). Brilliant find, btw.

Emily Wilkins's picture

Thanks for the hints so far

Sorry I should have put something in for scale, I think it was only about 3feet/1metre long. Anyone else have any clues?

featherandhay's picture


Definately a cetacean. Great find!