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Museum Mystery of the Week - Number Two

By: Ella Minton, Category: At The Museum, Date: 12 Mar 2011

Museum mystery number two was found on a beach in Queensland by one of our visitors and caused quite a stir  amongst staff! 

Museum Mystery of the Week Number Two!

Ella Minton © Australian Museum

This object was such a mystery we didn't know which collections manager to take it to! We started with mammals but meanwhile threw it open to our Facebook fans. Here's what some of them had to say :

'Looks like a petrified piece of sushi'

'Kangaroo Poo? Dingo Bollocks? '

'Looks like the underside of two or three barnacles'

'seed pod'

'bone or shell? or perhaps coral?'

Some interesting thoughts! Meanwhile the object was doing the rounds with our scientists- Marine Invertebrates, Malacology, Paleontology, Ornithology, Ichthyology each just as mystified as the the previous one!

Finally it was taken to our geo-scientists who performed  X Ray Defraction testing! They found out that it is made up of hydroxylapatite . Up to 50% of bone consists of a modified form of the inorganic mineral hydroxylapatite so we believe the object to be an altered bony structure. Unfortunately we cannot tell from what animal it comes from as it is unrecognizable so this mystery of the week remains a true mystery!

1 comment

barriews - 10.03 AM, 16 March 2011
could it be a tooth from a something

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