This Friday I have an interesting mystery skull for you to identify:
This may be a bit easy for some of you (although if like me you were up late last night to watch the election that may not be the case), so cryptic suggestions are encouraged.
I hope you have fun with it!
https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsAm I evil and Satan?
Not at all! You’re lovely!
Were it not for the brain-pan I’d have sworn this was a commie go-between for Cressida and Troilus. As it is, I’m a bit stuck.
More work needed. Hard to do in this post-election celebratory/hungover mood.
Until further information is available, I shall stick with my first impression. I guess we will in any case have the answer by the time May retires to her dad’s vicarage. I am not yet sure which resolution is more important to me.
OK. I thought of AAbel’s Fallen Angel first thing but didn’t believe the shape matched or that the processes on the mandible were correct.
But since others seem to be sure of it I will go with it as my second choice.
You’d swear correctly 😉
In which case let me try a second cryptic clue for the same entity: shiny cat.
This one’s a bit devilish for me.
With or without ears? – Prayers perhaps, for this one.
Is that tiny nub behind the canine in the lower jaw a first premolar?
Well… The curve at the top of the upper rams of the mandible looks a bit reminiscent of what I take Palfeyman to be hinting at. And maybe the camera angle lets that whopping zygomatic arch conceal the brain case?
The bone looks too fresh to be fossil, so it has to be some EXTANT mammal. But a weird-looking one!
The suborbital foramen looks big. Do muscles or tendons run through it? The flange and process in the angular region of the jaw are reminiscent of things you see on some rodents (who have snout-based jaw musculature running through the suborbital foramen).
So, at a guess, this is a critter that does rodents-things when it’s chewing: not just siding through meat! But the dentition is, of course, thoroughly un-rodenty! Asked to assign it to an extant order on the basis of teeth… I’d go for Carnivora or Primates. Looking elsewhere, Primates have a complete post-orbital bar, so… not one of them. So Carnivoran. But doing — on the basis of jaw and molar form — rodenty things.
There is the possibility, seemingly suggested by others, that it could be a rodent-a-like, but without a solid hard palate.
I am not sure of that, but keeping an open mind.
Having said which, my favourite idea is one of the carnivora, which you appear to have ruled out.
So maybe I do not have a clue, literally or figuratively.
Palfreyman– Oh dear. I thought I was in agreement with you!
(As for the things without solid hard palates — I take it you mean those with large holes in their bony palates — this looks awfully robust for most extant species. There are some robust (and vaguely bearlike) species, but they don’t have canine teeth, do they?)
You are. Entirely my misreading of your post. I blame Theresa May, of course.
Good observation on the suborbital foramen – I’d not noticed that and I think it may be of interest, since it definitely does some unusual things for a Carnivore.
ailurus flugens – red panda
https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsmissing most of its neurocranium, such sacrilege
Your first comment wasn’t exactly cryptic, so it’ll stay hidden until Friday, but that’s because it was correct 😉
“Some think I have a giant cousin, but we are not really related…”