voivodata's picture

Shrew Skull?

Observed: 4th June 2011 By: voivodatavoivodata’s reputation in Mammalsvoivodata’s reputation in Mammals
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I would be grateful for confirmation that this is indeed the skull of a shrew. Is it possible to tell the species? The most striking thing about it are the bright orange incisors.

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ophrys's picture


Certainly not a shrew skull, as they have a straight upper jaw bone. It looks more like the skull of a vole, but I do not have my mammal book with me, to check the dentition, at the moment. Someone else will give you a definitive version, I am sure!


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ktmartin's picture

Small rodent skull

Shrews are insectivorous and crunch through insect cases with very different teeth to this.
This is a rodent, the big front teeth and the big gap behind them are the give away. I agree and think this is a vole or mouse. But I'm sure someone will pinpoint the species.

the naturalist man's picture

I can see why you though

I can see why you though shrew, however, shrew incisors look as though someone dipped the tips only in red paint, not orange all over - this is the sign of a rodent.

Also as mentioned the incisors on a shrew are much smaller, indeed the skull would be half the size.

It is not a mouse because their molars have roots so leave small holes not a large channel as in this case; therefore, its a vole.

Now the difficult bit which one? To answer that you really need the teeth to look at the pattern. However, there is often a solid bit of jaw bone between the second and third molars in bank vole rather than the continuous trench of your skull.

Therefore, I'll go with field vole as the most probable.

Graham Banwell

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