Valerie Harrison's picture


Observed: 4th May 2013 By: Valerie Harrison
West Galloway Scottish Ornithologists' Club
Valerie Harrison’s reputation in MammalsValerie Harrison’s reputation in MammalsValerie Harrison’s reputation in Mammals

About 5cms

Species interactions

No interactions present.


DebbieA's picture

Stoat or weasel?

I'm really not sure just from your photo. If you have the actual skull you can check out a fab website call Will's Skulls to see what it is.

Debbie Alston

Valerie Harrison's picture

Good site! I chose stoat

Good site! I chose stoat because of the size rather than weasel, but it could be a larger weasel. I didn't pick it up as at the time it didn't look that interesting, however when I studied the photo and saw the teeth I realised it was a carnivore and from my book I identified as stoat or weasel.

Gardening for Wildlife

grahamcsmith's picture


Given the size and the three premolars, this does suggest a stoat or weasel. Male weasel skulls are rarely 5cm long, so this could be a female stoat. A male skull would probably be broader at the base and have a slight crest. The identification would be more certain if something was placed next to it for scale (a coin) and close ups of the teeth and the top and side of the skull were taken.

featherandhay's picture


I think it is almost certainly a stoat. It would be well worth returning to the location to collect the skull, as it's very rare to find specimens like this, even slightly damaged as it is.

the naturalist man's picture

Stoat / weasel

It can be very difficult to impossible to tell these two apart, there is overlap in the size. Weasel skulls are slightly, proportionately more elongated but you need to see two together to be sure, or take detailed measurements.

There is a nematode worm which is common in weasels and very rare in stoats. The worm burrows into bone, especially the skull and leaves tiny holes where holes should not be. I'd need photos from above and below to be sure if this skull had been infested. Also it is too old to be sure if the honeycombing on the back of the skull is caused by natural degradation of the bone or worm infestation.

I short I am not happy saying if this were a stoat or a weasel without more information, i.e. photos or detailed measurements; sorry.

Graham Banwell

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