21 February 2006

Return of the skull eaters

A previous post mentioned that we have a collection of assorted deer bones in our backyard left from the days when my son had an interest in bones. I also mentioned that some unknown animals frequently scatter the bones around. One of those bones is a deer skull that I have been keeping as a decoration of sorts on a large flat rock. I have often found that skull displaced from its location, but it wasn't until yesterday that I noticed how much of it had been eaten away. The picture below compares it (top) with another skull that has been kept indoors.

deersklls

Top of the snout is completely gone and the braincase seems to have caved in. Close inspection reveals what seem to be teeth marks at several places on the skull (below). Perhaps someone experienced with such marks can identify the animal that has been using this skull as its calcium source. In any case, we are keeping our eyes open to photograph the beast in action.

deerskll

3 comments:

Trix said...

We have had squirrels, chipmunks, and even a porcupine gnaw on both the deer and moose skulls which are attached to the doghouses. Apparently the concentration of calcium increases at the base of the antlers, closest to the skull.

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

We have plenty of squirrels & chipmunks too. In fact, my wife saw one squirrel that was apparently gnawing on a bone. I just hope to get some photos.

afarensis said...

My first thought is squirrel or porcupines, hard to say though, without some scale...