Badger skull

While out walking I noticed a badger skull in a ditch. As I have never noticed it there before and nearby was a newly excavated badger hole, I am presuming it was dug out with the spoil.

Badger skull in situ

One of the first things I noticed about a badger skull is the sagittal crest on the top. On this skull the sagittal crest is large meaning it was an adult badger. The sagittal crest helps to strengthen the badgers skull against damage when it is digging or when being attacked. The crest is where the temporal muscle attaches to. The temporal muscle is one of several chewing muscles that is necessary for crushing and grinding objects between the molars.

IMG_5273

On one side of the skull just under the eye socket there are little marks which look like teeth marks, perhaps a wood mouse.

Side on skull

Badger skull front view

In the photo below you can see some damage to the skull just in front of the upper canine tooth. Does anyone know whether this would have been done before the badger died or perhaps afterwards? Thank you

UPDATE – After asking on Twitter, Dr Ben Garrod came up with this reply:

‘The damage was almost definitely before death, the lower canine is broken but ‘smoothed’, indicating that damage had occurred during life. The maxilla damage corresponds with the damage canine and looks as though that previous injury/damage has had an effect on the maxilla. I am guessing there would have been active infection … maybe with other signs of pathology elsewhere on the skull.’

Thanks, Ben

damage by canine tooth

Badgers have 32 milk teeth, by the age of 4 months they have a full set of permanent teeth. The teeth on this badger looks quite worn.

badger teethbadger skull from the backUnderneath badger skull

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 Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in Badgers, Blogging, Local patch, mammals, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Badger skull

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s