Crikey, it’s my 50th mystery object already – in two weeks that means it will have been running for a full year. How time flies. To mark the half century of these posts I’m giving you a real challenge supplied by the excellent Grant Museum of Zoology, which has just closed its doors in order to be relocated whilst building works take place. The museum will be closed to the public until next February, when it will reopen in a new location. So here’s the challenge:
Any idea what these are, and (here’s the incredibly trick bit) which four species they might belong to? Can I request that those of you with a biological background concentrate on the harder question, as it will give my non-specialist audience an opportunity to work out what these bits are.
As usual, answers, observations and questions in the comments section below. Good luck!
Bacculum or Os penis? *titter* of what I wouldn’t know… and if they are all the same species they look very varied so I might be wrong (probably) hahah!
Very good. There are four different species represented, hence the variation
It’s traditional for someone to ask for a scale at this early stage of the FMO, so: what sort of scale are we looking at?
As one of the non-biologists, knowing the scale will probably not be of any use. So, my next question is:
Are the all of one species, or are they examples of an organ from different species [which would explain the variations in morphology]? Or are they the whole beastie, come to that?
The largest is probably about 9cm
They are from four different species (not whole beasties)
Baculum looks like a good answer to me, so things like (male) badgers, otters, seals would be possible species.
Are these straightforward zoological specimens or are they anthropological artefacts which have been used for a purpose?
These are comparative biology specimens, that have seen no anthropological use (at least that I know of).
By the way, your list of possible species is in the right ball-park, if you’ll excuse the term in this context…
okay based on my terrible performance last week I don’t expect the quality of my guesses to get any better but I am never one to shy from having a go, so here goes…
(not in order)
You’ve got one right!
Is the correct species Dog and is it a large breed such as St Bernard or German Shepherd?
You know I shouldn’t really say…
Dog was the correct one though – probably a big dog, but I don’t know which breed it was from.
Near misses all…
is the bifurcated one a marsupial?
Marsupials don’t have bacula – so nope.
Baaah, course not. Was thinking down the double winky route!