33 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #99

  1. Looks like a juvenile carnivore, some canid perhaps? It looks like some teeth are just erupting. Is the upper carnassial supposed to be like this?

    Really huge lower molar, though…interesting….

  2. Hmm. Mammai, looks carnivoran, and rather doglike. Not enough molars, and the skull is too short for a thylacine though. My first though was hyaena, based on the size of the rear molar, but the rest of the teeth are nowhere near chunky enough. And I really don’t know what to make of the spiky premolars.

      • Following on from a couple of other hints, Lycaeon pictus? Presumably the last two molars haven’t erupted in the lower jaw. But the “double canine” and that huge lower molar seem really distinctive- at least compared to all the other wolves dogs and suchlike that I’d seen elsewhere. Would I be right in saying the spiky premolars are milk teeth? The adults skulls don’t have teeth quite like that.

  3. Okay, fairl sure I’ll be wrong here, but just in case I’m not…

    Could I paint you a picture of this animal?

  4. Wow, coolest-looking skull yet! Love the sci-fi looking double canines (I know they’re not, but they look awesome)…
    I’m going to guess: Huge carnassials are hyena convergent, and it’s everyone’s favourite cartoon marsupial whirlwind of destruction…

  5. I was wondering whether it was a juvenile, although I’m usually really bad at spotting that – would explain why it looks doglike but doesn’t have enough cheek teeth.

    I do believe I saw one of these on Monday (I was at the zoo), and blogged about at least one population of them dodging the Allee effect last month. I’ll avoid painting any more of a picture than that, though.

  6. changed my mind after a quick Google-image-ing (cheater!) and decided it’s now the inspiration for the nickname of another fictional character, a reluctant hero with a peculiar skeleton, the coolest of his bunch, the one with the “X” factor…

  7. Does being cool suggest very high latitudes rather than Africa? Must say I am rather proud of having spotted the liklihood of it being a juvenile straightoff … a juvenile what I am not sure about, though I suspect canid … that’s as far as I can get without taking into account the additonal info from those more knowledgeable than I …

    • Nope – not cool in terms of temperature. Well done on spotting that it’s a juvenile and you’re right that it’s a canid. Nothing wrong with getting ideas from other posters though!

  8. Carlos – Googling is not cheating! That’s how I tackle the mystery objects every week.

    At least I’m learning – my skull identification skills are improving rapidly!

    Although I’m obviously a bit late to the (hunting) party this week as it looks like the mystery is solved.

    • These puzzles are not only fun, but a great way to learn; from Paolo, other people’s comments and, of course, from researching on Google. I’ve learned more about comparative anatomy in the last two months of attempting these puzzles than I did during the entire three years I spent getting a zoology degree (I did learn some other stuff doing that, though).

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