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ZOOARCH  June 2017

ZOOARCH June 2017

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Subject:

Fwd: [ZOOARCH] Femur ID (R. rattus or R. norvegicus)

From:

Christian Küchelmann <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Christian Küchelmann <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:28:31 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear Alex,

I had a similar problem when trying to ID a Rattus sp. femur from an early modern context in Bremen and i would like to second Adrienne and Sheila. The foramen on the femur described by Wolff et al. (1980) as being diagnostic for Rattus rattus appeared on two Rattus novegicus individuals from my collection. I also would regard this criterion as not reliable. I discuss this in my report about the assemblage (Küchelmann 2014, 14), so if you read German you can download it from my website.

Best

Christian


Reference:
# Küchelmann, Hans Christian (2014): Frühneuzeitliche Tierknochen aus dem Bremer Stadtgraben, Grabung 253-Altstadt 2011 • Am Wall, Bericht für die Landesarchäologie Bremen, Bremen
online: http://www.knochenarbeit.de/eigene_arbeiten/Bremen_253-Altstadt_Am-Wall.pdf
-- 
Knochenarbeit 

Hans Christian Küchelmann 

Speicherhof 4, D-28217 Bremen, Germany 
tel: +49 - 421 - 61 99 177 
fax: +49 - 421 - 37 83 540 
mail: [log in to unmask] 
web: http://www.knochenarbeit.de

> Anfang der weitergeleiteten Nachricht:
> 
> Von: S Hamilton-Dyer <[log in to unmask]>
> Betreff: Aw: [ZOOARCH] Femur ID (R. rattus or R. norvegicus)
> Datum: 23. Juni 2017 22:40:40 MESZ
> An: [log in to unmask]
> Antwort an: S Hamilton-Dyer <[log in to unmask]>
> 
> Hi Alex, I don't think I would trust it - just checked 4 sub-adult (distal unfused) R. norv. and they have it as well as all the adults, the paper says it is common in very old but safe for 'juveniles' whatever that means, so unless you have very young rats it seems not so good. The proportions of R.r are usually more slim for same length of femur, caput size smaller and other very subtle differences so you might be able to suggest which based on observations of a good range of specimens but I would be very cautious especially if no cranial available.  
> Sheila 
> SH-D ArchaeoZoology
> 
> http://www.shd-archzoo.co.uk
--------

> Anfang der weitergeleiteten Nachricht:
> 
> Von: Adrienne Powell <[log in to unmask]>
> Betreff: Aw: [ZOOARCH] Femur ID (R. rattus or R. norvegicus)
> Datum: 23. Juni 2017 22:29:16 MESZ
> An: [log in to unmask]
> Antwort an: Adrienne Powell <[log in to unmask]>
> 
>  Dear Alex,
> 
> I have used this criterion in the past but not any longer: I have over 50 brown rats caught locally, in south Wales, of a wide age range, and which nearly all show this foramen, although, according to Wolff et al., only black rats and elderly brown rat (possibly ought to show it.  Furthermore, the foramen occurs more anteriorly occasionally, or paired (not bilaterally symmetrical).  It seems to be a non-metric trait which may vary between populations but not necessarily be useful as an indicator of species.
> 
> Best,
> 
> Adrienne

-----
> On 23/06/2017 20:56, Alex Valenzuela wrote:
>> Dear zooarchers, 
>> 
>> I was wondering if anyone has ever used the criterion described by Wolff et al. 1980 for the distinction between black and brown rats femora. It is based on the location of the foramen nutricium in the medial side, next to the crista femoris. Has anyone tested their reliability?
>> 
>> Alternative ways to identify Rattus femora are also welcome.
>> 
>> Best wishes,
>> 
>> Alex
>> 
>> 
>> Wolff, P., B. Herzig-Straschil, and K. Bauer. "Rattus rattus (Linné 1758) und Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout 1769) in Österreich und deren Unterscheidung an Schädel und postcranialem Skelett." Mitteilungen der Abteilung für Zoologie am Landesmuseum Joanneum 9 (1980): 141-188.
>> 
>> -- 
>> 
>> Alejandro Valenzuela Oliver
>> PostDoc position 'Juan de la Cierva', Universitat de Barcelona
>> 
>> Equip de Recerca Arqueològica i Arqueomètrica, Universitat de Barcelona (ERAAUB)
>> Departament d'Història i Arqueologia, 
>> Facultat de Geografia i Història
>> c/ Montalegre 6-8
>> 08015 Barcelona
>> Telf. +34934037554
>> 
>> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alejandro_Valenzuela3
>> orcid.org/0000-0001-6120-6246
> 

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