What Animal Skull Is This?
February 19, 2017 7:35 PM   Subscribe

These are some pictures of the skull. The skull is from western Montana, which includes prairies. It was given to a friend of mine. It is about six to seven inches across and about 8-9 inches long.

It is not a full-sized elk or deer skull.
posted by ITravelMontana to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Pronghorn antelope I think.
posted by fshgrl at 7:40 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Views are front, side, back, side, bottom.
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:40 PM on February 19, 2017


To make links linkified, highlight the word or words you've typed that you want to link, click the link button just above the comment box, and paste your link in. If you want the naked HTML linkified, paste it in the comment box, highlight, then click the link button and paste the link in that.

I agree that antelope seems likely.
posted by rtha at 7:44 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it looks a lot like a pronghorn with damage where the horns were to me as well.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:44 PM on February 19, 2017


To make links linkified, highlight the word or words you've typed that you want to link, click the link button just above the comment box, and paste your link in.

I do that every time and, nope. Maybe a Safari issue.

I said antelope but am liking the second opinions that support mine.
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:57 PM on February 19, 2017


It's not a pronghorn, the Supra orbital foramina (holes above the eyes) would be closer to the horns, right on the base. The location is much more characteristic of a deer.
posted by lepus at 8:36 PM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


I didn't know the answer, but happen to be with a group who are knowledgeable about such things. After consulting with the three life-long hunters, a wild game processor, and a taxidermist, the consensus is:

1. This is the skull of an antlered, not a horned, animal. You can therefore eliminate antelope, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep.

2. Most of the skull is missing and has eroded from time and/or other environmental factors.

3. It is too large to be from a deer, and too small to be from a moose.

4. The skull is almost certainly a partial elk skull.
posted by dustkee at 8:38 PM on February 19, 2017 [8 favorites]


Are you typing a word or phrase before the end symbol? Between the less than and greater than symbols. Otherwise you won't see the link.
... ">HERE
posted by gt2 at 8:48 PM on February 19, 2017


3. It is too large to be from a deer, and too small to be from a moose.

It is much smaller than both.

I have updated the link with pictures that have a reference to a ruler.

I appreciate all of your replies.
posted by ITravelMontana at 9:32 PM on February 19, 2017


It's much smaller because most of it is missing. Here's a picture of an elk skull next to a Coke can from dustkee's link. A coke can is just less than 5 inches tall.
posted by klanawa at 10:34 PM on February 19, 2017


[Fixed the link. How-to-link info here.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:44 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just measured the width of my adult cow elk skull and she's 7 inches wide along the widest part of her eye sockets. She's from AZ/NM and I'm not sure how much larger or smaller MT elk are, but I think you've got yourself an elk. Nice find!

Edit: I guess it *could* be a caribou (male or female), but they're only in very northwest MT.
posted by Drosera at 6:23 PM on February 20, 2017


Consensus seems to be elk both here and among about 10 hunting friends.

Thank you.
posted by ITravelMontana at 12:58 PM on February 21, 2017


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