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Spotted Seal Podials | by Travis S.
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Spotted Seal Podials

Here are the podials of a Spotted seal. The bones on the left are the tarsals, or from the foot bone. The row of bones at the bottom are the metatarsals. These are very easy to distinguish from the other bones in the foot and even compared to the hand.

 

The next row are the proximal phalanges. There are five of these as there are five metatarsals. Above these are the intermediate, or middle, phalanges. These bones are generally smaller than the proximal phalanges but have similar distal (far) ends. Note that there are only four middle phalanges, just as your thumb does not have as many bones as the rest of your fingers.

 

Beyond these middle phalanges are the distal, or terminal, phalanges. These are basically the bones that have the claws attached to them and they look that way. I should have put some up just for a reference, but in identification they are nearly impossibly to distinguish which one goes to which digit, so I left them out.

 

The carpals go in much the same way as the tarsals. The only difference beside being from the hand versus the foot is that all of the tarsal bones seen here are from the left foot and all of the carpal bones are from the left hand.

 

I would like to say thank you to the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks for the use of these bones.

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Taken on January 6, 2005