Friday mystery object #225 answer

Last Friday I gave you this felid skull to identify:


As with the other cats over the last few weeks, it’s been difficult to find really clear diagnostic features.

The size helps narrow down the possibilities and the lack of divided auditory bullae rules out some of the species of Lynx, as does the presence of the small first premolar.

However, beyond that there isn’t much to really differentiate this cat from other species, apart from general features of relative proportion (height vs width vs length) and perhaps the angle of the rear part of the sagittal crest (which will probably vary between individuals).

Nonetheless, henstridgesj managed to correctly identify this as an Ocelot Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758), one of the largest of the small cats in South America.

Ocelot, 2003 from US Fish & Wildlife Service, Image Archive

My challenge is going to be find a way to pull together the variety of cat skulls we’ve had for the last few weeks, to help make cat skulls a little easier to identify in the future – if that’s even possible. No pressure…

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