Friday mystery object #221 answer

Last Friday I gave you this cat skull to identify:

mystery221

It is about the same size as a Domestic Cat and is very similar in morphology. But it’s not a Domestic Cat. 

The auditory bullae (the bulbs under the skull that hold the hearing apparatus) and the external auditory meatus (ear holes) are a bit bigger, the skull is a bit broader and the interpterygoid notch (the gap at the back of the palate that the airway emerges from) is squarer and has a slight ridge in front of it on the palate (and I’m not sure that ANY of these are particularly significant).

There were plenty of suggestions about what this skull might belong to, but only henstridgesj hit the nail on the head with a correct identification of Southern African Wildcat Felis silvestris cafra Desmarest, 1822. So well done Stephen!

Southern African Wildcat (Felis silvestris cafra) in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Image taken by on  Johann du Preez 24 December 2007

Southern African Wildcat (Felis silvestris cafra) by Johann du Preez 2008