Back to mammals for the mystery object this week. Any idea what this skull is from?
You can put your observations, questions and suggestions in the comments box below – cryptic clues are appreciated if you know what it is!
Bonus lunchtime photo clue! This second image might help with the identification – you should be able to get it to species level now!
It’s something rodent-y, but I’m afraid I don’t know enough to be able to tell which. I suspect the y-shaped sagittal crest is distinctive, though.
Yes, rodent or similar ecological niche; not British. Struggling!
Certainly not British.
It’s quite like a **ave* but without the holes by the ears where the jaw bits go. A bit smaller than one of those.
Or **k* ?
Not a pika either
I does look quite a lot like a beaver skull – not a close relative though.
Bit of a tricky one this week? I may post a photo of the underside around lunchtime if it’s still proving difficult!
The mandible gives the biggest clue
A burrowing rodent? Perhaps Cy*****?
It’s not a fossorial beastie
Is it a marsupial ?
It might be 😉
Not a Wallaby
the teeth lead me to a mainly herbivore specie because hasn’t the canine teeth, i don’t think is a rodent seems too big for that. I would say is a cousin of them, a r*b*it?
Not a Rabbit I’m afraid
Uncanny proportion similarity to Friday Mystery Object 1*6… would I be on the right lines with some kind of A*r*c*ma?
They do look similar, but they aren’t at all closely related!
Is it an Antipodean critter beginning with a w?
Doesn’t begin with W but otherwise you’re on the right track
Getting there, but no.
I thought beaver when I looked this morning. From a functional point of view, the best marsupial analogue I can think of to the beaver would be a koala – those eucalyptus leaves are tough, they would need a good bite to pick them and lots of jaw power to chew them.
I like your reasoning – but this isn’t a Koala.
Ah ha! I had it down as far as marsupial from this morning’s images, but I’ve got it to species now, possibly.
No you haven’t 😉
Is it a BT P?
That’s what rachel thought as well – and I thought the same myself when I first started identifying this specimen, but a few features in the photos led me to a different conclusion…
Well, sort of.
Nope, not in the Pseudocheiridae
Methinks it is a thing that glides. Tis my final guess.
I’m afraid that this critter isn’t volant.
Right, OK. I’ve changed my mind. I think it’s a vulgar pimpled North African delicacy.
Yes! And I didn’t cheat (not that I could anyway, because the specimen doesn’t have a number on it!)
From that clue I can get as far as the family, but the species would be guess-work. So, I’ll guess at P. o…is
It’s not a P.
I’m being extra specially dumb today. The answer was in the clue. So, S.p?
And having trouble typing. That should have been S.m!
Yay! You got there 😉
Think I’ll go and lie down now.
Im thinking BTP
Not a Brush Tailed Possum!
The mandible is the give away. There are two main things that help narrow it down…
The mandible is useful for getting the family, but the maxilla/premaxilla is more useful for narrowing it down to species.
Its definitely a marsupial though. If not a possum than maybe a small macropod like a bettong. Im certain this is an Australian marsupial though.
Definitely a marsupial. You do get them in the northernmost Australia, but mostly from PNG. Not a macropod – they sort of are a possum, but that depends on how you define a possum!
The skull looks remarkably like a BTP in both dorsal and ventral view. Same dentition. Large palatine vacuity. However, if the distribution is that far north I think I will have to change my guess. I’m sticking with the same family…but changing genus to s**********. From photos I’ve looked at, the only skull that looks close in that genus is s********** m*********. The photos I looked at were in lateral view and looked similar to a BTP except in the premaxilla/maxilla region (as you suggested). So thats my answer.
That’s the one!
Ah man, I just got it! S.m yeah? I really REALLY thought it was a brush-tailed possum . . . would never have thought of this little bugger!
Well I still haven’t really worked out where the clues have led us yet, but I do admit I stifle the urge to shout MARSUPIAL at quite a few FMOs. I wish I’d given in today! The lunchtime vental views would have confirmed that for me, but that would have been as far as I’d have been able to get without extensive internet research. Well done guys and thanks, Paolo.