It’s a snowy Friday here in London, the Horniman is looking otherworldly – in fact, here’s what it looks like from my office window:
But this brings us no closer to a mystery object. I was thinking of giving you an animal track in the snow, but that would be very limiting, since I only have photos of cat, fox and squirrel – all of which are a bit too easy. Instead I present you with something utterly unfestive, but more of a challenge:
I had to identify this a couple of weeks ago, so it is genuinely a mystery object, although I’m pretty sure I’ve worked out what it is – now it’s your turn!
Answers below in the comments section – I will offer feedback and answer questions where possible. Good luck!
It’s a clock!
Oh, you mean the skull shaped thing. I did think it was some sort of tusked deer, but they seem to have downward facing tusks. Some sort of wild pig seems possible – are we allowed to see the lower mandible from the side?
Sorry, no side shot of the mandible. I would take one specially, but the specimen is in our store building 5 miles away.
I’ve thought about barbirusa, red river hogs and visayan warty hogs. All of these have been available life at Chester Zoo in the last few years.
Is it a barbirusa?
Well it looks like it has some pretty forminable jaw muscles judging by that sagittal crest, and other key features seem to be that it is potentially tusked, and has an open ocular orbit.
May I inquire as to whether this creature still exists, or is extinct. It’s foot would have been useful 😉
This creature does still exist.
Is it Babyrousa babyrussa?
Huh, usually snowflakes onna webpage like that annoy the shit out of me. Not this time.
My first thought also went pig, but thought the skull looked a bit elongate to be a babirusa. However, a quick internet search suggests that in fact the Babirusa skull I’m most familiar with is instead compact.
So I think Small Casserole has it.
Glad the snowflakes pass muster – I don’t normally go in for that sort of thing, but it seems to work OK when most of the background is white and there’s a snowy scene for it to fall across.
Good work on the id.
Or perhaps, in fact, Babyrousa celebensis, looking looking more closely at the foramina.
Are the small indents above the eye sockets where the tusks poke into the skull, and doesn’t that smart a bit?
No, those indents are the supraorbital foramen. The tusks rarely grow back round until they make contact with the actual skull, although they can sometimes touch the skin of the forehead or base of the snout.
Good skills everybody! I have whited out you answers in case anyone wants to have a go at working it out over lunch time.
‘whited’? Is that really a word?
*Zeno Tries to divert attention from the fact he hasn’t a clue what the FMO is and doesn’t even understand many of the words being used!*
If it wasn’t a word before, it is now:
Whited, verb, to make white.
Examples: “the snow whited the roof”, “Tipp-ex whited out the mistake”
If ‘Tippexed’ is a word then ‘whited’ out (with Tippex) is, lol
Way off topic (Zeno wins again!), but the holders of the Tippex® trademark would disagree with your usage of their trademark. See here for details on the correct grammatical form for using trademarks.
I’ll bow out now from disrupting this thread! 🙂
Zeno, you’ve spent too long setting and agreeing standards! However, pendants are always welcome here.
How do you feel about pedants?
Ha ha ha! I missed that one!
*DOH* can I try to carry that off as a deliberate mistake?
I think it is not a warthog but something like a warthog because it looks a bit like the picture at the top here:
You’re doing well – certainly on the right track!