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What is this fossilized claw found in a Belgian forest? It is 14.5 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter.

whatisthis enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ What are its dimensions? $\endgroup$
    – mgkrebbs
    Mar 31, 2020 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ Why do you say it is fossilized? $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:57

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Looks like the proximal end of a rib of a large mammal (cow, horse, deer). Without information about how large it is, it is not possible to get closer to an identification. It's not a claw and very likely not a fossil. It just looks old and dirty.

Here's a horse rib cage (from https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-rib-cage/):

enter image description here

Ribs in the 4-7 range seem to be a good match for shape but not as much for roundness.

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  • $\begingroup$ It is 14.5 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter $\endgroup$
    – qazwsx
    Apr 2, 2020 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't my area, but how can you tell that it isn't any other elongate structure from a large mamal? For example, why isn't it a horn/antler? $\endgroup$
    – Galen
    Apr 5, 2020 at 17:06
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That's the distal end of an antler of some deer. You can tell because the texture is smooth and glossy, all wrong for a rib, and has that flange at the end which looks very different from the uncinate processes you see in some ribs but looks a lot like the flanges you see on some deer antlers. The more rugose, "veiny" texture near the base is also typical of deer antlers. My guess is that it's either a red deer (Cervus elaphus) or roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) antler fragment.

It's not a claw, because it lacks a clear flexor tubercle, articular facet, etc.

enter image description here

The cross-section is also very typical of a deer antler. This is what a deer antler looks like in cross-section.

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