Friday mystery object #159

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!

56 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #159

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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…

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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