Friday mystery object #4 answer

The mystery object I showed you on Friday was this:

Height to shoulder 15cm

The correct answer was in fact the hedgehog.

I was a bit surprised when the poll showed the following distribution of answers:

Distribution of answers - correct answer in red

Distribution of answers - correct answer in red

So many of you got it wrong that I feel a blog coming on about how to identify a skull – a grey squirrel (or any other rodent) for example would have a huge gap between the front teeth (incisors) and the teeth in its cheek (molars). However, the hedgehog is a tricky one, so kudos to all for trying!

There are several indicators (beside the size) that give this away, as shown on the image below.

Hedgehog skull with arrows

A = Canines similar to neighbouring teeth with no diastema (gap),

B = no postorbital bar on zygomatic arch (cheekbone),

C = no postorbital process.

So congratulations to those who got it and for those who didn’t I suggest taking a look at Will’s Skull Page, which is an excellent resource for identifying skulls.

Given the popularity of this Friday Mystery Object I think I may continue along a similar theme this Friday – unless you’d prefer something different – let me know in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #4 answer

  1. Pingback: Friday mystery object #38 answer « Zygoma

  2. Great blog, and thanks for the link ! I am thinking of adding a bird pelvis section to my website (don’t ask) and wondered whether the Horniman held many bird skeletons, especially of european and american birds.
    Will Higgs
    Will’s Skull Page

    • Thanks Will, been a fan of your site for at least 10 years now!
      The Horniman has around 300 items of skeletal bird material, although quite a bit of that will be skulls or mounted skeletons. The species represented are pretty much global in distribution.
      I am planning to start looking at our bird osteology next week as it so happens, so I will keep my eyes peeled for any pelvises with identifications for you.
      Feel free to use any of my images for your site by the way – I know they aren’t formatted in the way you prefer, but the ones from the last couple of years have scale bars and may be of use.

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