Portal Curiosities: A Remarkable Woodchuck Skull

Thu, 2016-05-05 13:22 -- maphillips

This specimen comes from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (YPM). It was collected in 1929 by HR Mooney and donated to the YPM in 1930. The Marmota monax skull inspired a short article entitled A Remarkable Woodchuck Skull written by Malcom Rutherford Thorpe and published by the Journal of Mammalogy in 1930.

From the manuscript: "the outstanding characteristic of this specimen is the evidence of unrestricted development of the upper and lower incisors." I'll say!!

The author suggested that the teeth malformation was most likely congenital as no evidence of injury that would cause abnormal dental growth was found. "While rodent skulls showing abnormal growth of one or two incisors are not uncommon, it seems that those showing abnormal growth of all four incisor teeth among the Simplicidentata are fairly rare."

 

 

 

Featured in the March 2016 iDigBio e-newsletter

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