What kind of skull is this?
September 1, 2006 5:46 PM   Subscribe

What kind of skull is this?
posted by Jairus to Pets & Animals (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
do you want to know exactly? i can tell you its a mammal skull, like of a donkey or some other kind of equestrian mammal if thats what you call them...
posted by GleepGlop at 5:51 PM on September 1, 2006

Some kind of possum, maybe? How big is it?
posted by Gator at 5:57 PM on September 1, 2006

Response by poster: It's about 4-5 inches long.
posted by Jairus at 6:03 PM on September 1, 2006

Response by poster: Keep 'em comin, GleepGlop.
posted by Jairus at 6:06 PM on September 1, 2006

Maybe a fox skull?
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 6:13 PM on September 1, 2006

Do you have a side photo or one showing the teeth at all, or is that what you have? My guess would be skunk, after clicking around this page of skulls, but they have side views and they don't quite match up with your top view picture. Could also be a bat or some sort of a baby pig, based on the skulls on this page (big page, many images).
posted by jessamyn at 6:20 PM on September 1, 2006

It's kinda hard to tell without the teeth being visible, but my first thought was "rodent." If it's 4-5 inches, I'd second the guess of 'possum or skunk.
posted by lekvar at 6:39 PM on September 1, 2006

Looking at this page, the size and shape are about right for a beaver or raccoon. Both of those are pretty common as well. More pics and details about the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the deceased would help.
posted by TedW at 6:42 PM on September 1, 2006

Looks like a fox.
posted by mogget at 6:55 PM on September 1, 2006

I can tell you what it's probably not, because I compared it to all the skulls I have: pig, llama, bobcat, weasel, goat, raccoon. Other than that, I can't be at all helpful without a side view... certainly something with a longer muzzle than a raccoon, and not as narrow a snout as an opossum. But that could be a lot of things.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:19 PM on September 1, 2006

I have to say, my first impression was a small canine. I used to have a dog skull, and the shape of the eye sockets in relation to the rest of the skull was similar... I'm not placing any bets though.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:27 PM on September 1, 2006

I agree - it really looks canine. Fox, coyote or small dog? Here are some for comparison.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:39 PM on September 1, 2006

(Scroll down a bit. Not the bulldogs.)
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:40 PM on September 1, 2006

I'll second (third? fourth?) the coyote or fox suggestion. My son has a skull that looks almost exactly like your photo and it think it's a juvinal coyote.
posted by jazon at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2006

I found a skull very similar to that near a creek bed while interning at an archaeology research center. It was missing the lower jaw. The director ID'd it as canine. After checking the Canidae Skulls site I'd narrow the one I have down to domestic dog, judging by the size of the teeth and the shape of the front of the skull.

Have you looked at the teeth? What animals are native to the vicinity of where the skull was found? Any hair left on it or nearby?
posted by bonobo at 8:53 PM on September 1, 2006

What's really really wierd, is that one day, about 5 years ago I walked out to my car, and there was a skull on my roof, dead center.

That looks exactly like yours.

I really want to know what kind of skull this is also.
posted by KirTakat at 8:56 PM on September 1, 2006

It looks like it could be a mustelid as well.

These are canis skulls:
canis latrans (coyote)
canis familiaris (domestic dog)

and these are mustelid skulls:
martes pennanti (fisher)
mephitis mephitis (striped skunk)

The canis skulls have a ridge that bisects the back of the braincase and they also have post orbital processes; the mustelid examples don't. That doesn't eliminate all the possible domestic dog breeds, though; a picture of the underside of the skull would really make a difference in narrowing that down.

I found these by searching here, by the way.
posted by stefanie at 8:56 PM on September 1, 2006

Response by poster: I don't have access to the skull until Wednesday, so I won't have more pictures until then. There was no lower jaw unfortunately, and no ridge on the top of the skull. The canines were very pronounced, so far the fisher skull seems to be the closest, though there was some similarity with the foxes as well.
posted by Jairus at 9:10 PM on September 1, 2006

It's almost certainly a raccoon skull. I have two nearly identical skulls that I found in the woods when I was a kid, one still within the remnants of the raccoon. Mine are identical in size as well.

(In one of mine, it's pretty clear that a rotted tooth led to an abcess in the upper jaw which probably led to its death.)
posted by maxwelton at 9:40 PM on September 1, 2006

OK, comment hubris. I took a closer look, and it sure seems like the remains of the skin on the skull are not raccoon-esque, and, indeed, look fox-like. I'll see if I can actually find my skulls for comparision, if needs be.
posted by maxwelton at 9:45 PM on September 1, 2006

Nice whiskers still visable, that might help in identifying it.
If I saw it in my yard I would say fox but you live up north so the martens and fishers are another possibility. Need to see those teeth.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:05 PM on September 1, 2006

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