Tetrapod Zoology

Because it’s the weekend…

i-5696e4ed70b816ef0964c57d6d0d415b-skull_rostral_24-1-2009.jpg

Test your skills and impress us all by identifying the object! Dammit, missed Atomic Betty…

Comments

  1. #1 Hai~Ren
    January 24, 2009

    Teratorn or condor skull? I don’t know, I’m just guessing.

  2. #2 Anthony Docimo
    January 24, 2009

    Dodo…or a Terror Bird from South America.

  3. #3 Dartian
    January 24, 2009

    Is it the skull of a razorbill Alca torda?

  4. #4 R.A.W.
    January 24, 2009

    Looks like it’s been beat up a bit. Are there any birds that lack a postorbital bar in life?

  5. #5 Sergio Pérez
    January 24, 2009

    I would say the skull of a gull (Larus) or similar…

  6. #6 Stu Pond
    January 24, 2009

    Fratercula arctica or Atlantic Puffin perhaps?

  7. #7 Abindarraez
    January 24, 2009

    A great auk? (or a ropen…)

  8. #8 Jerzy
    January 24, 2009

    Puffin?

    AFAIK no Dodo skulls have preserved rhamphoteca.

  9. #9 Kryptos18
    January 24, 2009

    Looks like either the skull of a razorbill or a griffon vulture… but in either case, it would have to be missing the beak sheath on the lower bill.

  10. #10 Berg
    January 24, 2009

    is it a lammergeyer skull?

  11. #11 Brian
    January 24, 2009

    At first I thought it was an eagle of some kind, but puffin now seems more likely to me. I can’t say which species though, but probably Fratercula arctica.

  12. #12 David Marjanović
    January 24, 2009

    It’s not a dodo. Has to be a falconiform or New World vulture.

    Are there any birds that lack a postorbital bar in life?

    What? All of Neornithes, if not, like, Euornithes lacks it.

  13. #13 Alefrisk
    January 24, 2009

    Aquila chrysaetos ?

  14. #14 David Callahan
    January 24, 2009

    I’m in the Puffin camp, too…

  15. #15 Jaime A. Headden
    January 24, 2009

    The bird has two features which prevent it from being a raptor, at least: It lacks a palpebral projection lateral to the orbit, and it possesses distinct frontal fossae, which is distinctive enough to be features typical to procellariiforms (and sphenisciforms, if I recall correctly). The rhamphotheca, even from this angle, shows ornamental ridges/groove on the surface, which is definately procellariiform/sphenisciform. So, I’d say penguin or puffin/auk, and likely an Auk, in my eyes.

  16. #16 Raptor Lewis
    January 24, 2009

    A Ceratopsian, or parrot, or something related to the parrot?

  17. #17 TJ
    January 24, 2009

    Razorbill? I don’t think it’s a puffin.

  18. #18 Steve Bodio
    January 24, 2009

    It isn’t a Falconiforme. I’m going with Puffin, though Razorbill is possible.

  19. #19 Zach Miller
    January 24, 2009

    We have puffins up here. The beak seems too shallow to be any puffin I’ve seen.

  20. #20 William Miller
    January 24, 2009

    Auklet?

  21. #21 Alan Kellogg
    January 24, 2009

    Pygmy hippogriff.

  22. #22 Nathan Myers
    January 24, 2009

    It’s not a boneless aquatic pterosaur because this thing had, you know, a headbone.

  23. #23 Carlos
    January 25, 2009

    My money is on Charadriiformes

  24. #24 Erik Knatterud
    January 25, 2009

    Some species of owl, the beak should be a bit more pointed.

  25. #25 David Marjanović
    January 25, 2009

    Oh, man, yes. Thanks, Jaime. It’s got to be Fratercula.

  26. #26 Raymond Minton
    January 25, 2009

    I think it’s a condor, because it’s a big-ass skull (and condors are the heaviest flying birds) it’s got a raptoral hooked beak, and it’s obviously recent, not a fossil (my opinion, for whatever it’s worth.)

  27. #27 Edgar
    January 25, 2009

    Cathartes aura or Sarcorhampus papa, more problably the later

  28. #28 Edgar
    January 25, 2009

    but don`t know if the red beak of king vulture remains on death, if not, is an andean condor…

  29. #29 Pete Buchholz
    January 25, 2009

    I think it’s some kind of Cathartid, and second Edgar’s suggestion that it’s probably Sarcorhamphus papa.

  30. #30 David Marjanović
    January 25, 2009

    Actually, the beak is way too small for Fratercula. So I’ll just jump on the cathartid bandwagon.

  31. #31 Bill Unzen
    January 25, 2009

    Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis).

    Immediate impression was of an auk and most like a Razorbill (Alca torda). However the skull’s overall robustness and the laterally thicker, blunt-tipped beak (Razorbills not surprisingly have a more laterally compressed razor-like beak) along with the multiple thin white lines running vertically down the bill sheath are more characteristic of a Great Auk. Most Razorbills (nominate subspecies?) have a single thicker vertical white stripe on the beak but I believe there is a subspecies that can have multiple thinner striations.

    The specimen is not a fossil because it still retains the keratin bill sheath.

  32. #32 Steve
    January 25, 2009

    Harpagornis moorei (Haast’s Eagle)? I know Jaime’s already ruled out the raptors, but thought I’d go with my gut instinct anyway…

  33. #33 Cameron
    January 26, 2009

    For some reason I thought “skua”. Anyways, it’s frustrating that few sources have bird skulls figured in a frontal view.

  34. #34 Tim Morris
    January 26, 2009

    I’m going with Great Auk too.

  35. #35 Joon
    January 26, 2009

    You watch Atomic Betty?

  36. #36 R.A.W.
    January 26, 2009

    What? All of Neornithes, if not, like, Euornithes lacks it.

    I’m clearly not up on my tetrapod skull anatomy.

    What would the rear margin of the orbit be called, and doesn’t it look a rather bit like this skull is missing it?

  37. #37 Graham King
    January 27, 2009

    I am already too late as answer has been given, and wouldn’t have known it.

    But I know that ‘skua’ is ‘auks’ spelled backward. :-)