Sonntag, 25. Mai 2014

Old Boy

I’ve found several red fox skulls in my life so far and I think this one was the oldest of them - referring to the age of the animal here. The skull itself is very interesting, because you can see many marks of its age. Oh, and maybe it was an old girl instead of a boy. Who can tell the gender from only looking on a fox skull? Eh, but read more under the cut.

I found that skull with many others on a hunters bait place (or maybe it was just a hunters dump pile) in the mountain forest. As I found so many skulls at one place I felt like I was in heaven! I think I will never forget that feeling ;)
I took it home and cleaned it with warm water and a bit of dish cleaning liquid. When I glued back the teeth I recognised that I held the skull of an old animal in my hands.

Some teeth are worn down. Take a look to the canines: One of them is broken and the lower canines look pretty used as well. It looks like the fox had a malposition of the front incisors, so they grinded on the canines. Or maybe its lower jaw grew a bit too long?

The fox lost one of its incisors during life as well. But it completely healed.

Some parts of the skull surface look porous. It seems that the fox got a bone issue.

I don’t know how I should explain it properly, but when foxes grow older they get some kind of a “bone ridge” on the top of their skull. It isn’t a bone ridge like badger uses to have. The bone part above the foramen magnum grow bigger as well. The bones there grows stronger or bulkier. Arghl, look at the pictures please… ^^”

There’s a hole in the fox head. It must be a bullet hole from the deadly lead shot. Look at the cracks around that hole. I think the fox died immediately and didn’t have to suffer.

The cheekbones started to grow together – that’s another sign that an animal was older. You can't see it very well on the photo.

Oh, I cleaned it not that well... I think I should’ve used some peroxide instead of dish cleaning liquid in the past. But I don’t care anymore.

As Jake said, the bone or skull of animals shows a record of its life. If you know the signs, you can read a bone/skull like an open book. That’s very fascinating, especially if the animal was older or had some injuries.

Foxes for the win. YAY!

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