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.


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. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. 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
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3 Responses to Badger skull

  1. Pingback: Badger Bones | Appleton Wildlife Diary by Alex White

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