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mystery (bat)-skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Orkman-X, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    hey all,

    I bought this skull a few years ago on a local vintage/second hand website. ever since I've been trying to figure out what it is since the seller had absolutely no info on the item. I'm pretty sure it's a kind of bat but I've never found pics/reference to any bat species that looks like this.
    it measures a whopping 2 inches (which would make it a rather large batspecies), it's really slender (long and narrow) built but has a huge sagittal crest.
    I know some of you work in/with musea and might have access to extensive reference-material.
    any help in determining what genus it might be would be mucho appreciated.
    many thanks in advance


    here are some pics:



  2. Not a pro with bats, but my guess is Vampyrum spectrum because it seems a very strong and carnivorous bat. Great skull by the way !

  3. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    hey Jean-christophe,

    thanks for the help and there's a good chance you are spot-on!. I don't know much about bats either.
    according to ADW:

    "This large bat species is distinguished from other large phyllostomids by their generally larger size, lack of a tail, and by the presence of 4 upper and lower incisors as compared to 4 above and 2 below in the similar species Chrotopterus auritus and Phyllostomus hastatus. The dental formula is 2/2, 1/1, 2/3, 3/3 = 34

    now this skull seemed to have no lower incisors so I just took a needle and removed what appeared to be some old laquer between the lower canines only to find... 4 very tiny incisor sockets. so the dental formula is spot on with your guess.

    still a bit weird that a 5 cm skull could belong to a 13cm (head+body) long bat... speaking of oversized :)

    thnx mate
  4. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    That's a flipping cool looking skull! There are only a few thousand species of bats, so you should be able to figure it out eventually! :) (If you REALLY get desperate to know, I'm friends with a few bat curators who might be able to figure this out.)

    I'm not sure why we ignore bats so much. They are fantastic examples of adaptive radiation (so much morphological diversity to fill so many niches). I think it's because they are too small to get their fair amount of attention. Imagine if that skull was 18" long. It would destroy any bear or tiger!
  5. Vkvz

    Vkvz New Member

    Spoke to a bat guy in my lab who confirmed Jean-Christophe's ID. Fantastic looking skull by the way!!
  6. TheSeaWench

    TheSeaWench Member

    That's a pretty sick skull. I love bat skulls- they're like teeny tiny canine skulls. Im trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a bat with an 18 inch skull like that and what damage it could do. It'd be like a some werewolf/vampire love child creature or something.
  7. Raphite01

    Raphite01 New Member

    Imagine the day when a species of wolf-sized, semi-flightless bat evolves. They'll leap shrieking from the darkness, constrict your limbs in their wings and clamp onto your throat like a lion until your struggling fades. Dromaeosaurs reincarnate in mammal form.

    Unfortunately that probably won't be for another ten million years or so, so I guess all of us here will have to miss out on an awesome skull.
  8. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    hey Vkvz, thanks a lot for the confirmation! thanks Jean-Christophe for the spot on initial guess and Great Skulls too for wanting to check with they museum-people.

    hehe yeah an 18inch skull sized monster (zombie) bat would be wicked :)
  9. Shura

    Shura New Member

    Wow, what a incredible piece you have. I' ve read that the dental formula of Vampyrum spectrum is I 2/2, C 1/1, P 2/3, M 3/3 X 2, but I just haven't been able to see the lower incisors in pictures of the living animal, and I can't see them neither in your skull pictures, are they missing? or maybe they're behind the canines? Can you post a pic of the lower incisors please?
    I would like to make a sculpt of this species
    Thanks in advance and congratulations!
  10. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    hello shura

    first of all welcome to the forum!
    I can't provide pictures of the lower incisors since they are missing. at first I thought there were none but after removing some old lacquer I found the two tiny sockets in each lower half in front of the canines


  11. flintlough

    flintlough Member

    Fascinating. Relative to the skull, those canine teeth are remarkable. I agree that a larger scaled version of this creature would be legendary. Thanks for posting.