Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 17

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Given all the fun that everyone had recently with the Southern sea lion skull, I thought you’d all enjoy the chance to have a go with another specimen. This one’s a lot easier, no prizes for getting it right. Let battle commence!

PS – yesterday’s artice on sea lions was ver 2’s 100th entry – wahey!


  1. #1 Luis Daniel
    June 22, 2007

    Umm… A baboon? or a mandril (sorry, don’t know the exact word in English for Mandrillus. That blue-faced ape). It’s a impressive predatory face!

  2. #2 nemo ramjet
    June 22, 2007

    This is definitely a baboon.

  3. #3 Cameron
    June 22, 2007

    I’m going to guess a male Chacma Baboon.

  4. #4 Hai~Ren
    June 22, 2007

    Male baboon? Which Papio species I’m not too sure.

  5. #5 Neil
    June 22, 2007

    Forward facing eyes in a mammal=primate. Was gona say gorilla but the snout is to long. So baboon? hmm banana, squashed banana…

  6. #6 ross
    June 22, 2007

    baboon-type thing, definitely. Mandrill? Gelada?

  7. #7 Sordes
    June 22, 2007

    I know what it is, its the skull of this mummified sea monster: http://www.neatorama.com/images/2006-06/mummified-sea-monster.jpg

    Well, it is a skull of some kind of baboon, perhaps a chacma baboon, but Im not 100% sure about this.
    Those baboon skulls are really impressive, I think they are among the most “monstrous” skulls of all modern mammals.

  8. #8 Diego
    June 22, 2007

    It’s a baboon skull but I’m not sure of the species. Hmm, hamadryas or olive? I guess I’ll think on it.

  9. #9 KS
    June 22, 2007

    a baboon?

  10. #10 Lars
    June 22, 2007

    I would not have guessed the sea lion although it was very clear to me that it was a mammal.
    But this looks looks very much like a Baboon (Papio) to me.

  11. #11 tai haku
    June 22, 2007


  12. #12 Dave Hughes
    June 22, 2007

    Adult male baboon/mandrill

  13. #13 johannes
    June 22, 2007

    An old male baboon. I would say savanna baboon, or chacma baboon if this is indeed a full species and not just a subspecies of the savanna baboon. The skull of a male hamadryas has a ridge above the braincase, wich is lacking here, the gelada has a much deeper mandible – probably because of its granivorous diet – and the mandrill has a much more pronounced “stop” – if I am allowed to use this canine term when referring to a primate – between the snout and the forehead. This leaves the chacma baboon.

  14. #14 Tengu
    June 22, 2007

    forward eyes, long jaw, big teef…funny, even as a non biologist I was going to say baboon…

  15. #15 chris wemmer
    June 22, 2007

    Mandrill. Male. Adult. (And not geriatric like the last specimen).

  16. #16 Shaun Stevens
    June 22, 2007

    Not an expert on skulls, (or much else for that matter), but I’ll throw my tuppence worth into the ring. A Chacma baboon……..canines look too short for a mandrill.

  17. #17 Rajita
    June 22, 2007

    Too late for this skulduggery :) Anyhow that looks like Papio ursinus. P. sphinx males seem to have more curved and longer canines. Geladas have a “Homo erectus” like ridge on the brow- so this is definitely not that. Papio show the groove in their canines (as seen in this specimen) that apparently was mistaken in a fossil mammal Bisonalveus to be a poison delivering groove. A good counter example from Papio.

  18. #18 Keesey
    June 22, 2007

    Seeing as it looks almost exactly like this, I’m going to agree with Rajita: Papio ursinus.

  19. #19 mark lees
    June 22, 2007

    Baboon – not mandrill (lacks the bony flanges down the side of the nostrils) nor gelada (lacks the heavy brow ridge) – the overall shape looks a little more like the skulls of southern baboons (Chacma or Yellow) rather than northern (Hamadryas, Guinea etc)- so I think it’s probably a male Chacma baboon or yellow baboon.

  20. #20 Steve Bodio
    June 22, 2007

    Baboon, not mandrill or gelada.

  21. #21 Placozoan
    June 22, 2007

    This may be a bit anticlimactic, but I think it’s a baboon. ;-)

  22. #22 Mwaka Unguti
    June 22, 2007

    I am somewhat surprised at the ideas given here that the skulls if from a babboon. Its synapsid features show that it is a from the Synapsida but its dentition features and tremendous cranial ridges show that it is of the Permian gorgonopsian group. It is a shame that they is no scale in the picture becuase this is making the skull look small, it must really be large and this would show its gorgon identity best. I have done a big study of these animals and know this.

  23. #23 Susan
    June 22, 2007

    Yeah, I’ll go with the crowd and say it’s a baboon. I’ll even go out on a limb (cause I ain’t no expert) and say it’s a yellow baboon, papio cynocephalus. From the little I know P. ursinus has smaller canines then the critter shown above.

  24. #24 Stevo Darkly
    June 23, 2007

    Well, I at least know a baboon skull when I see one. I was going to guess a mandrill, but I am convinced by the arguments of those above who think it is a chacma. Also, now I seem to be recalling that the cheekbones of a mandrill flare out really weirdly (but I may be mistaken).

    A gorgonopsid? I think you are being tricked by the perspective or something — not with the close-together, forward-facing eyes. Although if you block out the farther eye and the farther half of the nasal region, and pretend that you are looking at a straight lateral view, it does look a little like a gorgon, weirdly. But gorgons didn’t have molars, did they?

  25. #25 Sordes
    June 23, 2007

    It would also be a sensation to have a subfossil skull of a gorgonopsid…

  26. #26 Ville Sinkkonen
    June 23, 2007

    Papio ursinus

  27. #27 David Marjanovi?
    June 23, 2007

    No way this is a gorgonopsian. Forward-facing eyes; fused nostrils; just two incisors per jaw quarter; huge mammalian postcanines; somewhat short canines that are round in cross-section; a completely bloated braincase; no postdentary bones or angular process; no prefrontal, postfrontal, or postorbital (the postorbital bar consists entirely of the frontal and the jugal); and the lateral ridges on the snout are unexpected for a gorgonopsian, too. With that tooth formula it must be a catarrhine.

    Last but not least, the skull does not look fossil, does it?

  28. #28 Diego
    June 23, 2007

    Stevo, I think that Mwaka must be deliberately either making a joke or trying to lead people off the consensus path of baboon with a red herring (or red gorgonopsid as the case may be).

  29. #29 Jason Fox
    June 23, 2007

    Although everyone has already said this, when I first saw it, I immediately knew that it was a papionid primate. (If that is even a word) I love the canines! I also love the cranium of a Chinese water deer…nice canines also. Anyway, an old male since the sutures are obliterated.

  30. #30 John H
    June 24, 2007


  31. #31 Alan Kellogg
    June 24, 2007

    I have to ask, when did baboon/drill muzzles slope like that? Aren’t there other monkeys with muzzles, ones that slope?

  32. #32 David Marjanovi?
    June 24, 2007

    Which sutures are obliterated? I see lots of sutures all over the place.

  33. #33 Mishal
    June 25, 2007

    I’m putting my money down on a Theropithecus gelada, a Gelada Baboon.

  34. #34 Emile
    June 25, 2007

    I think it’s a baboon, but I can’t narrow down the species.

  35. #35 Sordes
    June 25, 2007

    The skulls of geladas look very different from this skull. This is a comparably typical baboon skull, but those of geladas have a much shorter muzzle, large eye-brows and are much more robust overall.

  36. #36 Edgar
    June 26, 2007

    for the ridges on snout sides….perhaps a Sulawesi baboon?(not remember the scientific name)

  37. #37 johannes
    June 27, 2007

    > for the ridges on snout sides….perhaps a Sulawesi baboon?(not > remember the scientific name)

    what you mean is probably the Celebes Crested Macaque (Macaca nigra).
    It is a stout, sizeable animal as far as macaques go, but not a true baboon, at least not in the traditional meaning of that term.

  38. #38 Edgar
    July 5, 2007

    Thanks Johannes, i mean just this species, and refer to the baboon-like snout it had(and looks pretty like a baboon)

  39. #39 ed
    December 24, 2007

    Sea Mammal or Fish

  40. #40 Kris
    January 14, 2008

    I think it’s Pongo pygmageus ? if you not collection mammalian skull from Indonesian Island please contact me but not appendix mammalian skull.

  41. #41 Kris
    January 14, 2008

    I think it’s Pongo pygmageus ? if you want collection mammalian skull from Indonesian Island please contact me but not appendix mammalian skull.

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