This week I’m handing over to a colleague, crossword competitor and member of the Mystery Object community, Rachel:
Welcome to my first (and hopefully not last) guest Friday Mystery Object. I hope what I’ve chosen isn’t too glaringly easy; if it is, please feel free to allow yourself a smug smile and a pat on the back, but do try to resist shouting out the answer until Sunday so as not to spoil the game for others. Cryptic clues are much more fun.
Today’s object is, as usual, from the collections of the Horniman Museum. I will hopefully be available over the weekend to offer feedback on suggestions or questions, and I’ll provide the answer on Monday.
It looks like a really old goose skull, but there is the curve in the beak too.
Not a goose, I’m afraid
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Ooh, didn’t realise it’d post a link over here when I linked to it on my blog. Still getting used to the weirdness of WordPress.
I have a guess – Is it a bird named from coming the sub-continent which feeds by flying just at the water’s surface shaving/glancing food off with a ploughing motion?
Nicely cryptic there, like it (almost too cryptic even for me…). But no.
Being an engineer and way too squeamish to have even done GCE biology, I’m looking at the lower part of the bill – sticks out beyond the upper and looks quite robust. Might this be a scaffold from which the equivalent of a fishing net would hang?
Excellent reasoning, but it’s not that.
It’s a bird. So there.
Yes. Yes it is.
Nice choice, birds are fun to guess!
Is it extant, though many of its relatives are not? Does it share – by pure coincidence – part of its common name with a form of overland transport? Probably not, but enjoying the cryptic clues game!
BTW, the “accidental” omission of a scale bar is very naughty indeed, tut-tut…
No, I don’t think so. Unless you’re thinking of a specific make…
Scratch that, I was thinking of the latin name.
the skull looks like its in the family Laridae
Nope, ‘fraid not.
A ratite skull of some sort with a deformed beak?
Now we’re getting warmer. I wouldn’t say it was particularly deformed, though, just slightly mis-shapen!
The tip of the mandible looks almost identical to an ostrich I’ve dissected during my PhD but I’m not confident if this is an ostrich or another species of ratite…
Is it a corvid?
I wrote on my website about corvids last week and I don’t think it is.
Jake’s right, as usual – it’s not a corvid.
Is this animal a bit kooky ?
Possibly – depends what you mean by kooky…
I thought the orbits were too small for an ostrich so I’ll go for a rhea.
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