This week I have a genuine mystery object for you. I just stumbled across a couple of big boxes of unidentified skulls and bits of bone, so you can help me work out what some of these things might be from. To start with we have this skull:
Please put your suggestions, comments and questions below and I’ll do my best to respond. Enjoy – and have a nice Easter!
Oh no! Someone shot the Easter Bunny. The only extant Leporidae Pascha bites the dust.
Not rabbit or pika, but a big strong rodent ?
It certainly looks that way. I’m pretty certain I’ve worked out what it is, although I hadn’t considered the greatest mouse detective…
Heh! Unfortunately not – imagine the chocolate yield from an L. pascha specimen…
Let’s see… well, it’s a rodent, and not a myomorph. Yay – I’ve cut it down to just 700 or so possibilities 🙂
Well, let’s try and narrow it down further! We don’t know the scale, but I’m guessing it’s a fair size for a rodent, and there’s a few distinctive features here and there. I’m going to say… this animal would be good for cutting grass?
There is a scale, you just need to enlarge your browser window or click on the pictures. However, you’ve come to the same conclusion as me without the scale by the sounds of it!
Flymois Vulgaris ?
One off my books (1894!) has a different scientific name for this animal, calling it A……… s……….. rather than Th. Do you know why this change was made? It also quotes some local names Yumba and Ivondue and says that ‘its flesh is excelent when roasted’. I believe that it is still a local delicacy and is now being farmed.
The name A…… had already been used for a beetle!
African rodent. It’s large. That and the backward slant of the maxilla narrow it down to one of two species of the same genus; I’m going to opt for the larger.
I’m thinking it’s the other one!
This is a very robust rodent. I expected the skull to be bigger than the scale says. Is the green color from soil contamination or is it green dye?
Not sure about the green – probably from copper staining, but I don’t know enough about the history of the specimen to be sure.