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Little skull quiz 2014/1

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Orkman-X, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    Hello

    I finished this one last week and since there are a lot of people here that enjoy looking at skulls with a keen eye for detail I thought of making a little quiz. The first one who guesses the species correctly wins ... well, nothing really except some virtual applaus :)
    it is from a mature male specimen.
    length 3.6 inches/9.2 centimeter
    maximum width: 2.1 inches/5.4 centimeter
    in case pics not clear:
    3/3 - 1/1 - 3/3- 1/2
    the lower jaw is 'locked in' in its circular joint so it can hang open and close without coming off
    if people like the idea maybe we can have regular little quizzes.

    rgds

    marc

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  2. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    1,281
    2
    Some kind of ferret. Definitely a mustelid.
     

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,699
    1,178
    MN
    I don't know crap about skulls, but I will guess martin.
     
  4. Skunk?
     
  5. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    @great skulls: you are on the right track, it is indeed a mustelid
    @3 bears: very good guess but it's no marten (martens have usually 38 teeth, this one 34)
    @sunparakeet: also good guess but no skunk either.

    to help you guys a bit with size and shape reference, I insert a pic with in the middle the mystery skull, to the left a beech marten and to the right a striped skunk.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    1,281
    2
    Galictis?
     
  7. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    which of those would you reccon?
     
  8. Skull Collector

    Skull Collector New Member

    32
    0
    Otter
     
  9. spotted skunk?
     
  10. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    @skull collector: while they are many different otter-species, they usually have 36 (Aonyx...)-38(Lutra...) teeth so otter would be off the table
    @Clara D: spotted skunk is incorrect. these skulls on average measure 2.2-2.4 inch
     
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,699
    1,178
    MN
    honey badger
     
  12. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    no honey badger. those are larger and have 32 teeth.
     
  13. How about a tayra?
    Kendall
     
  14. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    very good guess since they also have 34 teeth in total but such a tayra skull would be a full inch longer with a pronounced sagittal crest (like in the striped skunk pic above) which the mystery species typically lacks even on a robust male specimen like this one.
     
  15. Greater grison?
     
  16. Buckhorn TS

    Buckhorn TS New Member

    32
    0
    Fisher


    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Ohub Campfire mobile app
     
  17. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    Congratulations Alphaskullsmack! on being the first to guess it right. It is indeed a Greater Grison, Galictis vittata skull, according to Wiki sometimes referred to as the South American Wolverine. Great Skulls? was really close early in the game by guessing the genus right but there's a difference in size and dentition between the Greater and the Lesser Grison (I did a little research for the quiz, don't know all this stuff by heart)

    Of the 57 mustelidae listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustelidae
    many can be eliminated quickly based on total number of teeth (otters, martens...), size (weasels, ermines...) and shape or combination of these three.

    An important differentiator of Galictis is the trefoil shape of the upper carnissal (P3) in ventral view. This was hard to take a pic of since I couldnt remove the lower jaw anymore. sorry about that. More clearly it is visible here on brainscope:
    http://thebrainscoop.tumblr.com/post/28139253694/fotwjuly27

    Finally, besides the difference in size, the presence of metaconid on the lower carnissals (M1) distinguishes the greater from the lesser grison. Source: p292 of the book 'mammals of Suriname', second paragraph
    http://books.google.be/books?id=1s8UAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=galictis+vittata+skull&source=bl&ots=iAnH28__KW&sig=Ff21enilMvg6C69qIhK1srH_lAM&hl=nl&sa=X&ei=eLAeU-u8A_Ou7AbYyIHgAg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=galictis%20vittata%20skull&f=false
    this is also confirmed by the pics on animal diversity web
    http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Galictis_vittata/specimens/collections/contributors/phil_myers/ADW_mammals/specimens/Carnivora/Mustelidae/Galictis_vittata/lower_dorsal/
    http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Galictis_cuja/specimens/collections/contributors/phil_myers/ADW_mammals/specimens/Carnivora/Mustelidae/Galictis_cuja/ltr/

    that's it guys, hope you liked the idea of a little Quiz.

    best regards

    Marc
     
  18. Nobonesaboutit

    Nobonesaboutit New Member

    1
    0
    River otter...
     
  19. Mink?
     
  20. I've never even heard of a Grison...learn something new everyday!