This object showed up on my fire escape in New York city. It appears to be some kind of bone. It's a bit smaller than an adult human hand. What animal is it from?

bone picture

bone with inches


1 Answer 1


Given the size and thin/elongated ilia as well as the urban location, I think a domestic cat and/or a raccoon are likely candidates. I'm leaning toward cat.

Cat pelvis:

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VCA Hospitals

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Ventral view of domestic cat pelvis; Source: BoneID

Raccoon Pelvis

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Anterior view of raccoon pelvis; Source: BoneID

I'm not an expert in differentiating these two species' bones. I will note that your specimen is more or less in between the sizes of these two species. Your size is probably closer to the raccoon, but a cat is just more likely given the location.

The most noticeable trait that stands out to me is the size/pointedness of the ischial tuberosity, which better matches that of the cat.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I could not for the life of me definitely identify it from the first picture alone. I saw those sockets and thought "hips", and those articulations and thought, vertebrae, but I never saw such a pelvis. This is why you have a gold badge in identification. Fantastic! $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse, teaching 11 years of anatomy + that arduous comparative vert anatomy course I took all those years ago in college help a lot :p. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm still in awe. Makes me want to take a comparative vert anatomy course! $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 21:13

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