Friday mystery object #5 answer

I must say that I’m impressed with this week’s response. Most of you correctly identified this skull:

Scale in cm

It does indeed belong to a badger.  It seems that your identification skills are improving – perhaps in part due to having a useful reference like Will’s Skull Page available? The fact that the next most popular choice was the otter is also heartening – both are mustelids and they share numerous similarities, so even if you got this one wrong, chances are that you were still very close. Well done!

Distribution of answers - correct answer in red

Distribution of answers - correct answer in red

I like badger skulls, because unlike pretty much all other skulls the lower jaw is securely attached by a tightly enclosed jaw articulation (see below), which makes them one of the most easily identified skulls. They also have a very robust and distinctive bullet-shape, ideal for a creature that spends its time pushing through leaf-litter and soil in search of their main diet of earth-worms. This diet explains why the badger’s molar teeth, which in other close relatives are modified into shearing blades called carnassials, are broad and flat – not very sharp at all.

Scale in cm

Another mystery object next week – let me know in the comments section below if you want a change from skulls, I have something pretty tricky in mind if you fancy an alternative that will really present a challenge…

4 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #5 answer

  1. Pingback: Friday mystery object #137 answer « Zygoma

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