The rear end and tail of a skeleton were found in a slate quarry in Leciestershire. There was a skull lower down the levels whih might have belonged to it.

How can you tell if this is the skeleton of a large lizard or a small mammal
Can anyone identify it?
about 20cm long

Post's pictures

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The vertebrae and the long bones of the limbs are definitely mammalian. Given the length I would say its a rodent and possibly a rat.

Sorry David but it's a bird! The long prongs on the ilia are a give away as are the fact that the sacrum has about a dozen vertebrae, few mammals have more than three. The splint-like fibula fused to the tibia is also very avain, as are the flat-topped dorsals and cervicals. It's a bird. Which bird however, I wouldn't want to guess. Whil not a great scale, the leaves make it look pretty big too, and this would be an absolute monster of a rat.

thanks Dave and I clearly need to brush up on my comparative anatomy. Now you say it I can see what you mean. That said the long bones in the picture do look very similar at their articular surfaces to the mammalian equivalents (which obviously shouldn't come as any surprise!).