any idea what this is? a friend found it in their backyard. South Texas feel free to post the picture. I don’t have a size reference :( sorry about that. =]
Ahhh I wish there were more photographs of it! It’s hard for me to tell what a skull is when I can’t see it from more than one angle.
It’s upside down, so the parts of the skull I can identify most easily (the sagittal arch and the parietal complex) are hidden. It doesn’t look like that small of a skull, but from what I can see of the relationship between the auditory bullae and the zygomatic arches, it looks canid. I’m not sure if it’s too big to be a coyote skull, though.
It’s been a few years since wildlife ecology and actually handling skulls, so does anyone else have an idea?
People from Stephen Colbert to Kate Winslet to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow have animals named after them in an honorary way. Peter Pallas also has two animals honorarily named after him, but he also published the original descriptions of quite a few species, himself!
Peter Simon Pallas - (1741-1811)
Pallas was a German-born and educated Russian zoologist. The first animals that he made original descriptions of were unclassified taxidermied creatures in a Dutch museum in the Hague. Later, after Catherine II invited him to teach at St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, he made several expeditions to central Russian provinces, Lake Baikal, the Ural Mountains, and the upper Amur. He amassed an impressive collection of minerals, plants, and animals. Empress Catherine II was very impressed with his work, and paid Pallas 2,000 rubles for his entire collection (500 rubles above the asking price), allowing Pallas to keep his collection until he died. She later gave him a large estate, where he lived until his second wife died.
Pallas went back to Berlin in 1810, with permission of the Emperor. He died there the next year. The majority of his original botanical and zoological collection remain in St. Petersburg.
So what did he discover?
Pallas’s critters past break!