15 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #137

  1. Is it genus M_s_e_a, often illegal as pets although pet shops still carry food and treats for them? Or is it the skull of a character in a story from The Jungle Book that isn’t a bird at all, but has one in its common name?

  2. If it is what I think it is, I’ve only ever seen one alive, despite living in the country most of my life. I’ve seen many pancaked on roads, however.

    Also looks like a juvenile judging by the visible suture line on the cranium and lack of a sagittal crest.

  3. I certainly want to say “Something Something Something Something Mushroom Mushroom” but I feel like I’m missing something – maybe the premaxilla is a little too jutty for this?

  4. Oh dear, I have just realised that I have been checking out possibilities for over two hours and only have a list of what I don’t think it is.

  5. Hi, I’m new at this but I love the game. From the look of it, it’s a carnivore, a predator with forward-looking eyes. It’s small and since I cannot for the life of me figure out what the other folks are saying or guessing in the previous comments I am thinking that it might be a shrew of some kind. Mongoose comes to mind, also, though I am probably as off course as I could be. Thanks for the fun. I have the beginnings of a skull collection I hope to use for a program at the museum where I work as a naturalist.
    Diane Tucker
    Hill-Stead Museum
    Farmington, CT 06107

    • Not a shrew; it has carnassial teeth. These are the large, jagged, shearing teeth close to the back of the jaw and indicate a member of the order carnivora (I’ll briefly plug my own blog at this point: http://synapsida.blogspot.com/2010/12/carnivores-carnivorans-and-carnassials.html )

      From the teeth and the size of the skull, you’d be looking for a flesh-eating animal that’s well over a foot long, but not as large as, say, a wolf. That might narrow it down without giving away the answer!

      • oh yikes I guess I read that ruler wrong, too! Ok, shall I go for coyote? We have loads of them here and they are quite common. The embarrassment is that I even have a coyote skull in my little collection!
        Thanks for your help. Please let me know if I am still wrong….

  6. The presence of carnassial teeth and the shape of the skull suggest a member of a group I’ve been blogging about lately… most of them, though, seem to have a rather more gracile zygoma than this fellow. It’s rather small, but not as small as, say, a stoat. Of course, if it’s immature (as seems likely) that changes matters. One of the bigger ones, then, and possibly tautonymic?

    Of course, that still leaves me with two options, so… how about a gluttonous geegee?

  7. Well it’s been interesting this week. Like Jake I imediately assumed that it couldn’t be the obvious candidate, although it seems an exact match to what I have in my hand. So, as a result, I have learned loads about all sorts of interesting beasties from all around the world but still not found a better candidate, although it would need to be younger and smaller. Thank you Paolo, you provide a real learning opportunity every week.

Leave a Reply to Barbara Powell Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s