This Friday I’ve taken bit more effort than usual to get a decent picture of a specimen for the mystery object. It’s amazing the difference it makes when you use a tripod and allow a good long exposure. I’m sure you’ll all identify this in no time, but hopefully you’ll enjoy the image while you’re at it – there are few things quite as beautiful as bones:
Feel free to ask questions, make suggestions or just leave your thoughts in the comments section below – I’ll do my best to answer or drop hints as the day goes on. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
Well I’ve learnt my lessons from previous FMOs, what is the scale of the piece?
Good question! The skull is 10cm long.
Is it a dog?
Your dad was trying to work out what 10cm is in real money, thinking it might be a weasel, then he suggested badger, too. We are right in thinking it is a member of the carnivora?
10cm is 4 inches. Too big for a weasel too small for a badger.
Oh and you are correct about it being a member of the carnivora!
Not a dog
It was just that it’s got the skeleton of a lead there too …..
It looks Canis to me or maybe a fox, but not a domestic dog (which apparently have steeper foreheads). The back edge of the eye orbit isn’t right for a bush dog and the skull is quite elongated at the back.
Is it a juvenile?
It’s not a juvenile and you’re correct – it’s not a domestic dog or bush dog.
It looks a bit like a badger skull, though the lower canines seem to face forward too much…
It is a bit badgery to look at, but it isn’t a badger
Hmmm my first guess is going to be a Raccoon skull
Not bad – it’s in the right size range, but this isn’t Raccoon
is it from the Procyonidae family?
Not a Procyonid
okay one more guess, is it a jackal skull?
Not a jackal – or a canid of any sort.
Too small for a hyena
bah.. didn’t see the negative on the ‘coon. back to hunting
is it a fisher?
hmm.. fishers are only in N. America… if it’s not a fisher, it’s a marten.
It’s not a fisher and it’s not a marten either!
oh lordy… it’s related, though, innit?
It’s not a mustelid
Working from my mobile here, so a little harder to judge. But it has the look of a wolverine.
Not a mustelid
Are we talking viverid?
It’s not a Viverid either!
Is it an otter?
I think otter.
I’ve got a funny story about how I almost got an otter skull.
If it’s on your blog I’ll check it out! This isn’t an otter though!
Statement of the blindingly obvious – it’s not a cat is it? Obviously not a domestic cat – even Harley’s head isn’t that big – but something like a jaguar or a cheetah?
Not a cat – and it wouldn’t be that much bigger than a big domestic cat – maybe Maine Coon sized in length. This isn’t a cat though – at least, not a felid.
I think the only one left is a civet. It’s the right size but doesn’t have the spiky bit past the eye, though.
PS. The story about the otter is that about two months ago me and dad found a dead otter near my village. It had been hit by a car and was a bit stinky. I thought it would be cool to have otter bones, so dad built an otter-rotter out of wire mesh in which we would put the otter, then hide it the woods, then it would rot down, but the bones would stay in the mesh. So we got the otter and put it in the otter-rotter and hid it in woods by the road. Then we went to look at some horses, and then some policemen arrived. Dad went up to see them, and they asked him if he had seen a dead otter, because they had been told to collect it in case it had been shot. Dad told them he had hid it in the woods to get the bones and the police officers told dad he might be in trouble because no-one is allowed to have otters or otter bones. So dad gave them the otter, but he didn’t really get in trouble which is okay because my dad is cool. But I think he was silly for telling them where he hid it.
I think its a fossa
Either a Fossa or an Asian palm civet