Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Jar of Skulls

I got a new glass container to replace the terrarium that Mountain Girl smashed, and while I was in the shop I picked up two extra pieces, one for skulls and the other for a purpose not yet deduced.

In the glass above are the skulls of a coyote, a fox or two, a pit bull, several groundhogs, a snapping turtle, a few raccoons, a few possum, an English bulldog, a badger, a rabbit, a squirrel, a heron, and a robin. Yes, that's a big glass jar!

1 comment:

jeffrey thurston said...

Interesting your jar of skulls. I've been obsessing over canids lately and looking at lots of pictures of skulls. Like a sorcerer's apprentice I'm trying to understand the difference between dogs and wolves because in spite of my firm conviction they are the same species I'm trying to understand your point off view because I can see you are right- they are not the same- even going back in time. Having read many articles and having looked at many skull pictures I am able to recognize wolf vs. dog- even paleolithic dogs. I don't necessarily see the canine teeth size difference between say a gray wolf, a GSD and a JRT- and I don't always see the tooth crowding that is a dog characteristic BUT the "stop" is always there- even in the 31,000 year old dogs. I've also been reading about dingos- in Australia some want them to be a different species. Coyotes and jackals are definitely different enough to be non-controversially separate. Wolves, dogs dingos all the same- but the "Ah-Hah!" moment is that really the taxonomy of these animals is as much political as scientific. The politics of science always tend towards the new- there's a lot of hay made over a few blades of grass. The politics of classification is also legal- in can make a difference as to whether an animal is blasted out of existence. And finally there is common sense- taxonomy and speciation are a muddled whirlwind when it comes to canids but the difference made by man to these separate species or subspecies or same species is obvious and real. BTW- thanks a lot for making me all OCD about this...