Friday mystery object #153


This week I am delving into a box of bits to provide a genuine mystery object. I expect I will be doing a few items from this box in the coming weeks, since I am reaching the end of my curatorial review of the Horniman’s mammal osteology collections and I have been left with just a few boxes of random odds and ends that have been on display or have been cut up and the other part put on display.

These items have no information with them at all, so each is a genuine mystery that I hope to solve – a process that starts with identification. Any idea what this might be?

As usual you can put your thoughts, suggestions and observations below and I’ll do my best to reply. Good luck!

25 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #153

  1. Interesting! I’ve limited experience of non UK native mammals but I’d say this is a cranium of a non UK carnivore, probably a canid, unlikely to be vulpine. Can’t see a tentorium inside the cranium, which troubles my ID a bit. Beyond that, I’m struggling a bit.

    • This is often the problem with sectioned skulls – the key diagnostic features are lost and you’re left with more general features to guide identification. I think you’re right about it not being foxy…

  2. Smaller than a badger bigger than a ferret. I am leaning toward raccoon or raccoon type animal. I don’t think it is a rodent because the zygomatic arch doesn’t look like it was cut.

  3. On second thoughts it is too small to be a canid. Cranium shape looks wrong for either a feline or any mustelid resembling a UK species. Doesn’t seem to be an immature animal. Can’t substantiate the idea of a raccoon as I’ve never seen or closely studied a specimen, so might be possibility. Agree about the ferret to badger size range and also agree it’s not a rodent. Where’s Jake when you need him!!!

  4. Not a roe deer because the ears are completely different, and the sutures too.
    A bit more like a badger but the ears are the wrong shape. It has the jaw groove like a badger though.
    A little like a fox, but not really.
    I think the ear bones are big in proportion to the skull.

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