This week I have a mystery object that my boss, mentor and the Keeper of the Dead Zoo, Nigel Monaghan, found while working on a collection of cave bones:
Now Nigel has already worked out what it is thanks to a website that has images of skulls with id tips that you may have seen before (yep, this one), but do you recognise what this is?
I think this is a nice straightforward object, so maybe a good one for some fun cryptic or otherwise entertaining answers? Have fun!
Did the Mad Hatter compare it to a tea tray?
Certainly not in the ditty I’m thinking of…
I think we need to focus (did I spell that right?) on the shape.
Ooh, I like that.
I’ve been purposefully working towards an answer but think I’m still harbouring some doubts
I give my * of approval on this thought.
Great couple of cryptic clues
well formed, deformed auditory bulla… all the skulls photos i see show the anterior/dorsal side like a cyclops. this specimen reminds me of a chihuahua skull i have.
I seems like the whole skull would be quite round, but too big to be an Irish land mammal with a round head? Where are the toothy regions? That bulbous thing is an ear bone (tympanic bullae) – it has (had) good hearing? Or it needs good ear bones because it’s an ‘earless’ seal.
There are missing pieces. There’s also a marked difference in color/texture between the top of the skull and the sides: are the darker regions the areas where something used to be attached? (Thinking: if you have part of a telescope, there will be polishing that shows where the missing segment fitted.)
And that’s one whale of a bulla!
O.k., I was wrong. I hereby take back all my cetacean hints (the bony nostril would have been too far forward for a modern cetacean anyway). And apparently the sides of the skull of another sort of marine mammal can have the contrast with the top I noted.
Photo of a somewhat more complete skull fairly similar to this one here:
(Link will probably not work: the last part of the URL was too much of a giveaway, so I trimmed it. Will post working link closer to the end of the week.)
…There are still missing pieces, though not as big as I had imagined: the rostrum isn’t really as slender as it looks in Paolo’s picture.)
I love the cryptic clues too – I think you-all (that’s southern USA talk) are better at it. Perhaps I just don’t have the ears for it.
It’s a Turtle? Looks like a Carapace and Plastron to me ??