This Friday I have a lot on, so I’m giving you an easy one that the biology and bony types should be able to drop hints about for the less osteocentric amongst you:
I’m sure you’ll all get this in no time, but in case you don’t I’ll do my best to respond to any questions, observations or suggestions in the comments section below. Have fun!
I don’t know what it is, but its about of a cat skull, and it has a big braincase, and the earbones look big, so maybe it is good at hearing.
It’s difficult to see the joins in the bone. Badger skulls are a bit like this.
about the *size* of a cat skull
Great observations about the good hearing and the large braincase. It’s about cat sized and there are some dietary similarities to a badger, although that’s probably not much help in this case…
The proportion of the big braincase to the rest of the skull, the visible sutures, the not yet fully erupted teeth, and small size suggest it is likely a juvenile?
The large caniniform teeth of the premaxilla and maxilla are quite unique. I think you can use this characteristic to narrow it down further.
If I am not mistaken, it looks like there is a diastema after the maxillary “caniniform” tooth and the premolar/molar erupting at the back of the tooth row…
Good observations about the braincase, sutures and teeth.
I think you’ve correctly worked out what it is – thanks for giving the clues for others to work it out for themselves!
Is it a big bat like a fruit bat ?
Not anything that flies.
The large brain case stood out.. was wondering if it was a lemur or something.
I don’t think it’s a lemur because it doesn’t have bone all the way round the eyes.
Another great observation Jake. This isn’t a lemur and lemurs do indeed have a bony ring around the eye.
then it’s something then 🙂
I was googling lemur skulls, and I did notice the eye socket. do all primates have a complete eye socket?
To the best of my knowledge all primates have a complete or almost complete bont ring around the eye. I think this relates back to stereoscopic vision and the forward orientation of the eyes, which requires support.
I have no idea, but 0.286 is definitely the number of the beast… 🙂
It’s the number of THIS beast, that’s for sure!
I’m thinking something raccoon like, but with a bigger skull.
I have a raccoon skull that’s bigger than this actually… On reflection, this does bear some similarities with an immature raccoon skull I’ve seen, but it isn’t a close relative of the raccoons at all.
A confusing one. It looks like the lacrimal duct is external to the orbit, suggesting a marsupial, and the caniniform teeth would suggest Dasyuromorph, but the diastema and massive brain case are throwing in spanners to my conclusion that it’s a very exciting specimen indeed, but those could potentialluy be explained away by it being a juvenile?.
Also I’ve just had a sneaky look on a certain international specimen database of those specimens that is currently under revision, and I don’t see any specimens from the Horniman. listed
Ah, growing pains – the changes in skeletal structure during maturation do result in substantially different adult forms to the juvenile… this is indeed a good example of that.
Am I correct to say that despite that, the overall snout shape is reminiscent of the adult form?
If you look at the auditory bullae, you’d notice that they are quite large and clearly made up of the tympanic bones, which as far as I am aware is a eutherian (placental mammal) trait.
Another useful observation.
I would say the snout shape is pretty similar to the adult form, if a bit smaller in relation to the braincase…
After rooting around a bit I think that I have sussed out the answer.
I think it’s some kind of shrew from another country because of the teeth, but I’ve gone through the Skulls Unlimited website and none are the same size.
Or something possumy.
Don’t rely too much on size – when the braincase is big, the sutures are quite clear and the muscle scars are not really visible it’s usually an immature animal, so there’s a good chance it won’t have reached its adult size…