Friday mystery object #81


This Friday I am going to give you what I consider a fairly easy one, because I stumbled across it on Thursday in a box of ‘miscellaneous bone’ and I instantly thought I knew what it was. Having checked my hunch I thought I’d give you the opportunity to have a go at working it out:

Of course, I will be here to offer some guidance if you run into any difficulties (after all, not many of you have reference material to hand) – so put your questions, comments and suggestions in the box below and I’ll do my best to answer. Good luck!

19 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #81

  1. Definitely an avian braincase with a portion of the orbit. Looks heavy and thick, the temporalis insertion on the skull is pretty high and that means a strong bite. Regarding the size of the skull I would suggest a ratite, possibly a cassowary.

      • Sorry, only extant ratite in the right size range. 😉

        If you hadn’t found it in the “box o’ random bones” I’d expect it to be either much more complete or sectioned. Now it could be a Moa, but I’d have thought most museums would be rather more careful about keeping tabs on their skulls. They’re not the most common bits.

      • You would have thought so – and generally you’d be right. However, sometimes collections go under; either the private collections of people that pass away, of companies that go bust or universities/public collections that have lost funding and/or have had their space reallocated. There is then a mad rush to rescue the objects from being disposed of – some collection have literally been taken out of a skip.

        When this happens there will often be boxes of ‘bits’ that there simply hasn’t been the time to sort out due to the sudden, rapid influx of hundreds of objects. I have encountered many boxes in many museums that fit this category and they can contain anything.

  2. From this picture:

    the ostrich groove doesn’t look as square as the one in this post.

    The cassowary groove is bigger but you can’t see the crest in Paolos picture:

    I don’t think it’s an emu skull and I can’t find a picture of a rhea skull.

    PS. If anyone knows anything about roe deer skulls, can you tell me if I worked out the age of this one right ?

    http://jakes-bones.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-old-was-george.html

    I think it’s now maybe 2 years, not 13 months, because it is so different from my eight month roe skull.

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