Friday mystery object #214

This week I have a stray mandible for you to have a go at identifying:


I think I know what it’s from, but I’d appreciate your thoughts. As usual you can put your thoughts, comment and questions below. I can’t wait to hear which critter you think it might be from!


32 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #214

  1. The mandible resembles that of a large M*st*l*d which is in the UK news at the moment, but is rather smaller than I would expect. It doesn’t seem to be a young animal as the premolars seem quite worn. The first molar looks very much like that of the heavily culled beast I have in mind, but the ramus of the mandible appears wrong and the condyle isn’t robust enough. The mandible really doesn’t resemble the smaller UK M*st*lids because of that molar. Hmmm.

  2. Definitely a mustelid, width is about the same as an *t*e* but looks a tiny bit shorter than my dog *t*e* one. So too big to be a weasel etc or beach/pine marten but might be a young *t*e*r or another species not from UK.

  3. After comparing it to a number of photos of possibilities, I’m going to jump on the *t*e* wagon. Not the marine variety.

  4. Alright . . . instantly the foramina on the mandible anterior to the premolars scream Otter! However, the incisors don’t. The incisors just lateral to the canines should be larger and longer than any of the other incisors among the otters (even the Asian Short-clawed Otter). These look to be about the same length as one another. I agree with Jake, still my hero by the way, that a weasel would be too small. On the contrary, the invasive American Mink (Neovison vison) might be more on the mark. The European Mink (Mustela vison) seems to have less pronounced mandibular fossae. So, American Mink?

  5. Hmmm…I’m stuck on the angle that leads up to the coronoid process. It’s rather vertical. I have to go against my esteemed colleague and say no to American Mink. Perhaps Paolo has given us something particularly unusual. With only my flu induced secret vision as reason I’m going with juvenile canid of unknown southeast Asian origin.

  6. I have a T***dea skull, which looks similar on first glance, though the second molars on the skullI have look as if they have sharper crests– I’ll have to look more carefully to see if first impression holds up. (Hey, I’m an amateur: without prompting from earlier posts it wouldn’t have occurred to me to look at the positions of the mental foramina!)

    Anyway… The talonid on the first molar of the one in the picture is BIG. Does this mean that it is perhaps a species less hyper-carnivorous than some m*****ids?

  7. As mentioned, it must have been a heavily doped mink (growth hormone). On the other hand, I find it a bit small for a G**o. The length of the row of teeth is OK, but it looks a bit narrow between the non-canine canines. It might be a she. They are smaller, but probably just as greedy.
    The fur is said to be the best for anorak ruffs.

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