Badgers – The inside story

While I have become quite familiar with my local Badgers, I don’t know much about their skeletons, so I asked a friend of mine @MelanieGbones To write me a guest blog about the badger skulls she has collected.

Badgers: The inside story.

Hello, I am Melanie Gould. I am fourteen years old and from Wales, and I collect animal skulls and bones and also skins and taxidermy. I am very grateful to Alex for asking me to do this guest blog post!

Badgers are amazing animals and their skulls are very interesting, and they can be found in the countryside quite easily. They have very large sagittal crests, which is where the muscles for the jaw attach and runs along the braincase. Animals with a big sagittal crest have a powerful bite. Also, badger jaws (mandibles) will often stay attached to the skull.

skull 1

Badgers have quite small orbits (eye sockets) as they are nocturnal and don’t rely on their eyesight. The teeth on badger skulls will often be worn as they eat worms which have grit and mud in or on them which wears down their teeth. Badgers have a tiny tooth behind their canines called a vestigial premolar, which is unusual.

I have four badger skulls, two of which having very interesting teeth.

On this first skull, it appears that a second tooth has grown into the canine.

skull 4

On this skull, the teeth are extremely worn. This suggests it was from quite an old animal.

Badger skulls are bigger than cat skulls and around the same size as fox skulls. Here are some comparison pictures:

Badger v.s. fox

Fox skulls have a longer snout than badger skulls, and have larger eye sockets. They also have small sagittal crests. Also, fox skulls often lose their mandibles, as this one has.

Badger v.s. cat

Cats have very large eye sockets compared to badgers and are much more rounded with much less of a sagittal crest.

Here is a picture of all three skulls. From left to right: cat, badger, fox.

skull 13

Fox skulls are often found in the countryside like badger skulls, and cat skulls are slightly harder to find. The cat skull pictured is from a feral cat.

The size of the skull is slightly different for every badger, but the one pictured measures 13.5cm. The size of the sagittal crest is also different for every animal, as older animals and males tend to have larger crests.

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I am a keen amateur photographer using a Canon SX60 HS. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild
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2 Responses to Badgers – The inside story

  1. Very interesting! 🙂
    I have a fossil Badger skull from the Miocene Period… around 12 million years old. ( 15.5 cm) It has the vestigial premolars. Sometimes Badgers team up with foxes and hunt with them. Foxes are fast, but if the animal they chase gets into a hole, the Badger will dig them out. They share the meal either way.

    Like

  2. Brilliant post – some really interesting info and great photos – thanks 🙂

    Like

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