This week I have a mystery skull for you to have a go at identifying:
I’ve made it a bit more tricky by only providing one view, but I think it should be identifiable from this.
By the way, I hope you like the NatSCA scale bar – the most useful swag I’ve ever received in a conference pack. Hoping to get another one at the Caring for Natural Science Collections one-day conference in October – really looking forward to geeking out about conservation of natural history collections!
Enjoy the mystery object!
It’s a bird!
And the cryptic clues have begun… Dagnab you knowledgeable children of unmarried parents!
All I have so far:
7 cm head (including bill);
Bill too slender to be woodpecker (or even kingfisher?) so waterbird of the wading sort is probably the target, but a small one.
Am waiting for further cryptic clues that might actually help me.
OK, I think I have it sussed.
That large hole in the skull is clearly space left for a melon and, if as in my imagination, you could see auditory bullæ, it would be obvious that this is one of the very rare microceteceans.
In fact, based on the curvature of the mandible I will go so far as to say this is the little known Thames “Invasive Crayfish Eating” Minidolphin, known to scientists as Delphinium cryptus.
I nailed it, right?
Tricky to make a cryptic clue when its binomial is the same as its common name… but despite its name, it doesn’t present a barrier to access to wet places.
Nicely done 😉
This bird is known for being thin, but not many people notice this because it does not show itself very often.
Does no good to rant and r. . . at the paucity of clues.
don’t pee on the third one, but our local specimen likes the sound of two hands
Not to be too blunt, but I’m not sure the tip of the beak is sharp enough. Too bad Paolo doesn’t tell us where this specimen hails from.