Last week I gave you a tricky mystery object in the form of a dusty bag:
Of course, I’m not truly that mean, so I also provided a characteristic part of the specimen:
Despite being a bit broken, it’s fairly clearly the mandible of a felid, given the shape of that one molar and the limited sockets for the missing premolars, suggesting something with a very reduced tooth count – something that most of you spotted straight away.
The size is a bit small for a Tiger or Lion, it’s a bit big for a Puma or Cheetah and it’s not quite as robust as I’d expect from a Jaguar, leaving us with the likely identification of Leopard Panthera pardus (Linnaeus, 1758). So well done to joe vans and palreyman1414 for ‘spotting’ what it was (terribly pun, I know).
Here’s a nice Leopard skull from the Grant Museum of Zoology collections to give a sense of scale.
More mystery objects to come from the Grant next week, but if you’d like to see another specimen from the collection, my latest specimen of the week, that looks at the darker side of the Walrus might be of interest.