Friday mystery object #109 This week I’ve decided to go back to mammal skulls. Any idea what this belonged to? N.B. length of skull approx 12-13cm As usual you can leave your questions, comments and suggestions below and I’ll try to provide some pointers. Good luck! Share this:PrintEmailTwitterFacebookRedditLinkedInPinterestLike this:Like Loading... Related
A mustelid like a wolverine ?
It’s not a mustelid, although the skull does look a lot like the skull of a large mustelid, so I can totally see why you suggest wolverine.
I’m going to guess at canine….a fox?
It’s not foxy
Hmmmm. Okay, I’m going to completely change my direction.
It’s amazing how similar skulls from different species look.
It’s almost as though they have a common ancestor…. 😉
Not ottery either – although it does look a bit like a mustelid
As to this ‘common ancestor’ idea – I just don’t get it! 😉
Oooh what big teeth you have. But the long flat skull suggests something slinky … 13cm long, so the animal must be quite a size …d’oh, on the basis of the teeth, beaver?
You were doing well until you said ‘beaver’ – they have big incisors, but no canines. As you can see, this has nice chunky canines
Ah – my first thought was otter but 13cm seemed a bit big. I suppose there are bigger otters than the European – the Asian ones are quite a bit smaller …
Sorry my phone is posting only when it feels like it – I hadn’t seen you’d said not ottery
Now I don’t feel quite so stupid, seeing how many experts still haven’t pinned it down … you’re going to explain that what I’m about to suggest is a member of one of the groups already mentioned, but that would mean looking it up and it’s hard enough just typing on this phone, now. Mongoose???
As always, I have no clue. Moreover, I have no clue how to find out! I want a tutorial to identifying friday mystery objects please 🙂
I started writing a guide about a year ago and it got a bit more complicated than I had envisaged. When I get a chance I’ll try to pull together something simpler – maybe in instalments…
The answers to objects on Monday often have some pointers, but there are quite a lot of them to go through now!
My final guess….some sort of seal?
Nope, not sealy either
It looks almost like an elongated cat…but not quite.
I’m going to go with Fossa?
That would be cool, but this isn’t from a species in the Euplerinae
Okay, a mammal, a carnivore, not a mustelid, but long quite narrow skull…
Too big for herpestids, I was thinking viverid, but too big for a Genet? In fact, the teeth look wrong there. Okay… and too big for mephitids?
I d’know. Still think the skull here is too big, but Hog-Nosed Skunk.
Similar looking skull, but this isn’t from a skunk of any kind.
streamlined skull and carnivorous is it a leopard skull
Too many teeth for a cat
sorry I meant leopard seal.
I was going to say mustelid as well… Damn you convergence and/or similarity-due-to-common-ancestry!
Whatever it is, it must have had a scary powerful bite force seeing how long that skull is and how massive that temporalis muscle was …
SO, it’s not a dog, not a cat and not a pinniped…A viverrid? I’m doubting this as I type, purely on the basis of you having done a civet before, but you could very well throw a curve ball at us… 🙂
Definitely checking later for the answer!
It’s not a viverrid either!
Is it Nandiniidae then? African Palm Civet?
Not a mongoose… I think we’ve covered most of the main carnivore groups now, so it should just be a matter of working out what’s left!
Are you suggesting we are all just wildly guessing?
I’m suggesting that the levels of precision are high, but the level of accuracy could be improved 🙂
Some kind of bat?
Bit big for a bat
Is it extinct?
No, it’s extant and not even endangered
It’s not a Tasmanian Devil is it?
Nope – not a marsupial
Badger-like thingymajig? (That’s a scientific term for those who don’t know)
Honey badger? Or some sort of small bear?
No, neither a mustelid nor an ursid
Mellivora capensis I reckon, maybe a young one.
Nope – not a mustelid
A baby hyena then!
Not a Hyaena
Ah, now we’re getting closer!
Nope – they eat ants, so teeth like that would be a bit over the top!
This is turning intosome sort of ‘name a carnivore’ contest! Civet?
Not a Civet either
Not a canid. Not a cat/ Nota viverrid. Not a mustelid. Not a seal, skunk or mongoose. Doesn’t look like the procyonid skulls either. Nor is it a Linsang.
Ir does look very stoaty, but its far too big.. I don’t think its a Kinkajou, the back of the skull doesn’t look right.
It’s not a Kinkajou, but you do mention the group in your list…
The Ringtail, Bassariscus astutus?
Mountain beaver is flattened with huge canines, but I know Aplodontia rufa and this isn’t A. rufa.
The mountain beaver has huge incisors rather than canines and even though it’s very basal it has the large diastema characteristic of all rodents.
Is it one of those 6 legged black things from Avatar?
Heh! I’ve not seen Avatar, but I rather doubt it!
Is it a procyonid?
Yes, it is a procyonid – we’re getting there!
I thought procyonids have a sagittal crest.
Sagittal crests are a developmental characteristic, often they don’t show up in younger adults, so they aren’t all that useful for identification
Is it a small breed of dog?
Not a canid
Is it Hyaenidae but not a dog-like one ?
With those big, robust teeth I can see why you might think that, but no
Y’know, I’d swear it’s a weasel if it wasn’t for those dang-nabbit 12-13cm measurements. Well, from what I gather it has to be a feliforme of some kind. The skull looks too elongated to be a civet…or a linsang. Doesn’t seem to be a raccoon, but the dentition appears to be very raccoon-ish.
And just my luck, skullsite only works with birds 😉
Good observation about the dentition…
There’s also skullsite.co.uk but it doesn’t have everything.
I know it sounds stupid, but is it a cetacean.
not a cetacean – see Stephen’s comment below
don’t cetaceans have strange huge resonating nasal areas to house some of their sonar/echolocating apparatus
Yes – this gives then a very characteristic concave profile
Last guess, is it ….a coati?
We’ve had a Coati a year ago, although you’re in the right general area…
Somehow I feel like we’ve already had a binturong, but I suppose there isn’t a rule against repeats, and that’s sort of how it’s reading to me…
There’s no rule against repeats, but I try to avoid them. We haven’t had a Binturong before, but this isn’t one
My final guess is an Olingo.
Otherwise I’m stumped!
Right family, but they’re too small
Only Procyonid that hasn’t been mentioned is the cacomistle.
There has been mention of a generic name for this animal above, but I’m holding out for the species identification since there have been so many guesses and this skull is sufficiently different to make it distinctive.
A kInkajous – honey bear then?
Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating racoon)
Seems I can’t spell raccoon (2 Cs, 2 Os) but I can spell it’s Latin name; well my excuse is that I’ve studied more Latin than Powhatan.
*its* (oh dear)
I’ve got it! A cacomistle, it must be!
I’m going to put my vote in for crab-eating raccon, Procyon cancrivorus. Although it still looks very much like an otter to me! I’ve obviously got a lot to learn.
Either it’s a crab-eating raccoon or a Bassariscus(don’t ask me to differentiate the two species…), I guess.
I feel saying “Procyon cancrivorus” at this point borders on cheating…
An Banded linsang?
the skull is so specialized, I love the sound of crab-eating raccoon, cause that’s gotta be one specialized Procyanid.
everybody who specializes in eating crabs has a funny shaped head. So that’s my vote.
A little bit too late but I think it’s an otter.