Hi, Whilst walking near a lake in Cambridgeshire, England, I found the bone in the attached pictures. I was a little concerned it might be human because it is too large for most small animals, too delicate for the lager domestic animals, whilst being about the right length and appearance (to my untutored eye) for bone from an human arm or leg.

Post's pictures

bone 01.jpg, 105.2 kb, 1119 x 303

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This looks like a radius though given the length (nearly 13 inches) and non-circular shape to the head I am fairly confident in saying this is NOT human. That said I am stumped as to what animals this is! It's too delicate and long for a cow and although I am not an anatomist it doesn't look right for a deer. I would hope after the holidays someone might logon and identify it - I am as intrigued as you are.

Looking again at this it is possible both ends have been eroded or damaged so may appear unusual. The length still troubles me but I do now question if this is human and if yes then it is recent. I think it best to err on the side of caution and take it into a police station who will in turn get it examined by forensic experts and if needs be tested to confirm if human.

Do post again and let us know the outcome!

Further to Dave's comment, this bone is the humerus of a swan or goose, so I wouldn't worry too much. Bird humeri have a very different shape to that of a mammal and it's easy to get thrown by the shape of the proximal end.

Most helpful Paolo. It never even occurred to me to think of a bird at 13 inches. As you say there is very little similarity to mammalian humerus - the wonder of evolution/selection!

Being a human anatomist, I'm able to say that this is, without a shadow of a doubt, not human. But then it doesn't look very mammalian either. I was stumped, so I asked a vet anatomist friend who agrees with Paolo - it's a swan humerus. Here's a useful database of bird anatomy to proove it:

http://aves3d.org/specimens/36-Cygnus-o … ht-Humerus

I don't think we need to involve the coroner with this one!