Friday mystery object #97


This week I have a tricky mystery object for you to identify. It’s from a group with a number of members that are a similar size and shape, which makes identification a bit tricky. Any idea what this skull belongs to:

I’ll try to answer any questions, but I can’t guarantee I’ll have access to a computer, so apologies if I don’t respond for a while (that’s why I’m a bit late posting this morning).

I was going to give you a clue about what this animal might be, but the only clue I could think of was a complete stinker, so I’m afraid it falls to your abilities to identify this animal. Best of luck!

22 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #97

  1. I’d say the skull’s too long and low to be a skunk. I don’t think it’s a civet either – the snout would be longer and narrower. And badger’s already out.

    So…I’m going to suggest mink, because of the blunt shape of the snout.

  2. Yes, I thought a civet – which reminds me, we went to the food fair at the South Bank Centre and tried the rarest coffee in the world – I did not tell your dad the beans had been pre-processed by a civet …

  3. Yeah, I suppose it’s more likely the one that people put down their pants than the one that is colored like a Gila monster. That species name would fit the clue, too, though this whole superfamily gives new meaning to rank-based taxonomy.

  4. It’s a mustelid. Right size for a skunk. Not a mink because it doesn’t have that hook on the back of the jaw. Might be polecat or ferret. Too big to be stoat or weasel. To small for an otter. Teeth are wrong for a pine marten.

  5. Oops, OK, so not a mink. It does look ferrety. Or possibly polecat-y. Or possibly even a hybrid? They are so hard to tell apart when lacking fur!

  6. I think my first guess of a civet is wrong; the face of this skull is too short for that. That also seems to rule out a skunk.

    So, I think a polecat is closer, but still doesn’t look quite right.

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