This description is from Dan, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – andon hmns.org – throughout the year.
These bones, part of the Attwater-Westheimer collection, represent the fourth specimen record of Manatee (Trichechus manatus) for the state Texas. They were collected prior to 1929 at San Jose Island, Aransas County.
For years they were passed over as part of a ‘vat of dolphin [Tursiops truncatus] bones’ which Attwater probably collected on the beach at San Jose Island concordant with collection of disarticulated dolphin skeletons.
This finding was important enough for HMNS staff to publish (2001. Tx. J. Sci. 53: 292-294).