When I had my week of being famous, another bone collector from Scotland called Michael emailed me to say hello. He has 1,000 skulls including a giraffe skull !
Michael asked if I wanted to swap skulls because he didn't have a swan skull and I had two. So I sent him my swan skull in exchange for a badger skull, a barn owl skull and he gave me a rabbit leg with the bones glued together which was great as well ! But this week I am just going to write about the badger skull.
The badger skull feels very chunky and heavy, and I think the bone is very thick. It is about the size of a fox skull but it feels much heavier. Here is a picture of it next to one of my fox skulls.
The badger skull is about 13cm long, and my fox skull is about 14cm, but the badger skull feels chunkier. The bone doesn't go all the way round the eye sockets on the badger or the fox (but it does on deer and sheep), and the badgers eye sockets are much smaller.
On the badger skull you can't see the suture lines where the different skull plates join up. Skullsite says badgers have a very strong skull. The badger skull also had a big saggital crest at the top. This picture shows where the sagittal crest is.
If the sagittal crest is big, it means the jaws are strong, because that the jaw muscles are attached. The sagittal crest on this one leans slightly to the left. I learned from Paolo's brilliant blog that this means that the badger used the left side of its mouth more than the other to chew with, perhaps because it had a bad tooth.
Badgers have incisors, big canines, and four molars on each side and jaw. Mine has only got three of the molars left. The back molars feel worn down, so it might have been old. The badger mouth isn't as long as the fox's, but it is a bit wider.
This is the groove where the bottom jaw sits. Foxes have this groove, but the badger one is deeper. Skullsite says badger bottom jaws can't come off but they have on this one.
I am really glad to get this skull. It is one of the ones I said I wanted to get this year, and I was lucky because I don't know of any badgers round here. This is a great new one in my collection !
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