Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Treasure Found in the Mountains

Seeing the skull in the magician poster reminded me of a skull my son gave me when I was up in the mountains. I wanted to share this really cool deer skull with you today. I am always asking him to be on the look out for cool things - nests, bones, feathers, rocks, etc... when he is out hiking or on his daily runs. He lives in a "no kill" mountain community that is full of deer, turkeys, bobcats, bear, etc. so he is always seeing cool things. [On one hike we found these incredible vulture eggs. They were speckled in several shades of purple. We left them undisturbed.]

The deer in his neighborhood have become quite prolific and have actually split into two groups - the healthy and the sickly more interbred. For the first time they are letting hunters in this year to weed out some of the sick deer. My son found this deer skull on one of his runs. It is so cool.

I was so thrilled to get this skull. We think it is from one of the sick deer. A doe. He said he watched the skull for several months before it was ready to come home. It is really quite fascinating and will sit on my "nature"table with turtle shells, wasp nests, fossils, etc. we have found. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Full facial view. The nose area is a bit degraded.

This is the back of the skull. You can see where it attached to the spine.

The skull turned upside down. The teeth are incredible. You can see where they use them to grind and chew their food. Those are some molars!

Side view. The eye socket is so large. I do not have the lower jaw. Apparently small mammals find that one of the easier parts to abscond with. It is a great source of calcium for them.

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