Name that skull

When I launched Nature Photo Challenge 6: Sharp!, I included three photos of animal skulls (to show off their sharp teeth). I didn’t name them but invited bloggers to guess what they were. In my round-up I forgot to include the answers. So here they are.

Nature photo challenge
Skull A is a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

This fox skull is missing a few teeth, but you can see its long top canines and its molars which slice through its food.

name that skull
Skull B is a Eurasian Badger (Meles Meles)

The skull has a large crest on top of the skull for attachment of its strong biting muscles. You can also see how the lower jaw fits into the upper jaw really tightly, which means it’s difficult for a badger to dislocate its jaw. Badgers are omnivores, so they have biting incisors at the front, some sharp canines, and grinding molars that are flatter than those of the fox.

Coypu or Nutria skull
Skull C is the Coypu or Nutria (Mycastor coypus)

The Coypu is a large, herbivorous, semiaquatic rodent native to South America, but has naturalized in various parts of Europe and North America. Aren’t its bright orange incisors impressive? As a herbivore it needs these to chew through tough grass and reeds. The orange discoloration is due to pigment staining from the mineral iron in the tooth enamel. The incisors are constantly wearing down and regrowing. You can also see the characteristic flat molars used to crush its food.

Who guessed correctly?

  • Philo guessed the Fox correctly, although Brian knew it was a dog-like animal.
  • No-one guessed the Badger.
  • Kathleen Jennette and Philo were very close with the Coypu skull by suggesting it was a Beaver. Sarah and Sofia were in the right ball-park by suggesting a Squirrel.

Thanks for all who participated. All three skulls date back 50+ years ago when as a 14-year-old boy one of my interests was collecting skulls from dead animals. (And you’re right, I didn’t have a girlfriend.)


      • They certainly do. I have some acquired as gifts (because I am known for unorthodox decor). I do not like seeing skulls on display from the murdering of animals. I hope those I have are from natural causes. It is often easier to admire & appreciate the innocent than most people. To me, your skull photos are wall-worthy.

        Liked by 1 person

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