My guess is that the specimen was probably a fairly young adult, since most of the fragmentation of the skull is along suture lines. However, the disarticulation is greater than would be expected simply from a poorly fused specimen, so it looks like damage has also been sustained. Since the delicate nasal turbinates are still intact and in place, I expect the damage probably happened when they were still protected by soft tissue – making me suspect that it happened before the animal was skeletonised. Given the susceptibility of hedgehogs to getting run over, I expect that this individual was killed on the road by a glancing blow to the head that loosened teeth and sutures. I’m pleased to say that Jake agreed with my identification and cause of death for this specimen, so a hearty congratulations to him!
Friday’s object was this exploded skull:
I identified it as a hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus Linnaeus, 1758 based on comparison with the skull (particularly the lower jaw) of a specimen that I had as a mystery object last August: