Help identifying this small animal skull.
July 14, 2014 8:25 AM   Subscribe

This skull was found in a wooded area of central Pennsylvania. It is about the size of a fist.
posted by Mikey51 to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
I believe that is a raccoon skull, but I am not a tiny dead things expert.
posted by phunniemee at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2014

Yeah, the teeth seem to match the teeth on this raccoon skull.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:34 AM on July 14, 2014

Yes, probably a raccoon, but maybe a skunk?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:41 AM on July 14, 2014

I'd go with raccoon - and you've got some excellent tooth marks on his or her nose. Someone was gnawing away at that thing.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:14 AM on July 14, 2014

Probably a raccoon. I've recommended the bone identification tumblr for mammal finds before, and I will again. You can even surf the "raccoon" tag to see if that matches details you remember but aren't visible in the photo.

I don't think it's a striped skunk, though I wouldn't say with absolute certainty. Striped skunks tend have finer, more gracile (i.e., "more delicate") zygomatic arches (cheekbones), and smaller infraorbital canals/foramens (passages/holes under the eye socket). They usually just look more ferret-y overall to my eye, but that's the least useful explanation ever for people who aren't familiar with ferret skulls.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 9:26 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'll vote for raccoon, just because a skunk skull is way smaller than a fist (although that depends on the size of the fist, I guess).

Skulls Unlimited lists their raccoon skull at 4.7 inches in length and their skunk skull at 3.2 inches.
posted by komara at 9:34 AM on July 14, 2014

Response by poster: I just measured it at 4.25 inches long.
posted by Mikey51 at 9:52 AM on July 14, 2014

Nthing raccoon, but I'd have to look at the teeth a little better to be sure. Are they flatish in the back and thin but sheared off flat in the front? Pointy in between?
posted by geegollygosh at 10:41 AM on July 14, 2014

Response by poster: That sounds accurate. Here are more detailed photos of the teeth:

photo 4
photo 5
photo 6
posted by Mikey51 at 1:11 PM on July 14, 2014

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