mmb274's picture

Fox skull

Observed: 26th April 2010 By: mmb274
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - current student
mmb274’s reputation in Mammalsmmb274’s reputation in Mammals
100_0686.jpg
Description:

Slightly smelly trophy found by my dog!

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Fox (Vulpes vulpes) interacts

Comments

anonymous spotter's picture

Skull

Hard to get a sense of scale, but this looks big for a fox - though it's clearly a carnivore!

Alladell's picture

Large dog

I do not think this is a foxes skull. More likely a large dog. The average size of fox skull is 17cm front to back the fence post of a type like this 16cm. Difficult.

Alladell

tootsietim's picture

not easy to tell in it's 'unclean' state

I reckon the post could well be a 3" round, ie 75mm making the skull around 150 - 170mm.
Try looking on www.skullsite.co.uk where they explain the difference. Something to do with sinus's which would be more visible on the clean skull. On the original photo, enlarged, the post orbital area looks good for fox.

I would have thought that the chances of finding a fox skull in the countryside is rather higher than finding a domestic dog skull.

Kluut's picture

Agreed - fox

I spent a while using 2 good books and came to the conclusion that the ID was correct.
Trying to second-guess size is pointless, just consider proportions and dentition, even if you then disagree that it is a fox skull.

For what its worth, the run of the mill tanalised fencing stake is sold graded at 75-100mm diameter.

mmb274's picture

Thanks.

Thanks for the helpful comments - went back with a tape measure yesterday but annoyingly it had vanished - the post diameter was about 4".

the naturalist man's picture

Fox or dog

Firstly what it is not: the size clearly indicates a large, adult animal and the canines are those of a carnivore. We can rule out badger because the sagittal crest is too small and the muzzle too long.

This leaves us with dog or fox. These are notoriously hard to separate, the dentition of both are identical in adult animals. The only safe way of separating a fox from, say, a lurcher with a similar skull shape is the size and shape of the post orbital (above and behind the eye) bone. This is the point behind the eye socket where the socket starts to curve down the skull. On dogs this always protrudes out from the skull and is triangular in shape. In foxes this is flatter and less obvious. www.skullsite.co.uk, as mentioned above, is a good place to visit to see what I mean.

This skull still has some flesh on it making it hard to see the region in question, however, I can see enough of it to be sure this is a fox not a dog.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411