Here are skulls from four kinds of canids (members of the dog family).
What are they?
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Sizes and shapes of skulls, teeth and skeletal pieces help scientists distinguish the different kinds of mammals.
Skeletons must be cleaned and preserved to maintain their research value over time. Read more about how to properly prepare specimens.
This partial skeleton of a gray fox shows the results of careful cleaning.
Look for the differences between these two fox skulls. The gray fox (left) is wider across at A than the kit fox. the temporal ridges (B) are U-shaped in the gray fox, but V-shaped in the kit fox.
Coyote and wolf skulls are longer than 160mm. Coyote skulls are rarely over 200mm while wolf skulls are usually more than 225mm. This skull is 185mm long.
Skulls from older animals often show extensive tooth wear. Which of these two lower jawws is from the older coyote?.
The male wolf skull (left) specimen was collected in 1925 in Oregon. The male skull is 252mm long while the female skull is 227mm long. Note the difference in the size of the sagital crest as well.